For the last four months, farmers of three villages-Ratonla, Kharyal and Khrayali in Sangrur district-travel extra eight kilometres to reach their farms.
The reason for the plight of the farmers of these villages is a damaged bridge near Dirba.
Built over a canal passing through Ratonla village, the 50-year-old bridge caved in from the centre earlier this year. Since then only two-wheelers and occasional light vehicles cross the bridge-that too at their own risk.
"All my fields lie on the other side of the canal. Since I cannot take my tractor through the bridge I travel eight extra kilometers to get fodder for my buffaloes on a trolley. Many farmers in my village faced huge problems this paddy sowing season due to this damaged bridge, " said Gurshagun Singh.
Ever since the bridge got damaged the neighbouring villagers have been raising a hue and cry, but the district administration has paid no heed.
"We have visited the concerned officials in Sangrur many a time. We have lodged written complaints, but to no avail. Now that it's started raining, it would become even more dangerous to cross the bridge, as the canal water would start flowing over the bridge," said Ajaib Singh, a farmer.
Forget building a new bridge, or repairing the present one, the authorities didn't even bother to put up a warning board.
"We ourselves restricted the entry of heavy vehicles, including tractors, trolleys and cars. We fixed iron poles on the both sides of the bridge and put up a warning board," said a villager.
Since then all buses have been abandoned making it difficult for students of Akal Academy, which is situated on the other side of the canal.
Niranjan Singh, another villager, said the local sarpanch, Balwinder Singh, had failed to raise the matter. He said the sarpanch should approach MLA Dirba Balbir Singh Ghunas, who is also chief parliamentary secretary.
"During the last assembly elections, politicians of all parties made promises that the bridge would be built at the earliest. Since then not one of them has visited our village," said Niranjan.
Sangrur deputy commissioner Kumar Rahul when quizzed over the issue promised that he would visit the site within a week. He said he was aware of the problem of the villagers. "I will give directions to the concerned department after visiting the spot," he said.