Residents of ten villages had spent money from their own pockets to build a temporary bridge on a drain in the middle of Bhaloor and Jiwanwala villages under Baghapurana sub-division, 40 km from here. However, due to heavy rain this bridge collapsed on Sunday.
The villagers again find themselves in the same predicament which they faced before the construction of the bridge. They will again have to pass through deep water every day for their routine work.
The worst affected will be the students of more than half a dozen villages, who commute to their schools via this road. They have to pass through the water and there is no alternative way for them. On the other hand, more than 50 school vans of various private schools of this area also pass through this bridgeless drain. The villages including Bhaloor, Nathewala, Rode, Demru, Mahla Kalan, Mahla Khurd, Langeana, Jiwan Wala, Hariyewala, Dhoorkot and Lande have only this way for Kotkapura town as well. They have to travel regularly to Kotkapura because they deal with commission agents of Kotkapura.
"The residents of these villages had demanded construction of the bridge from Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal many a time, but they got nothing other than promises. A deputation of these villages had met deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at Bagapurana three years ago during his Sangat Darshan programme. The deputy chief minister had assured the deputation of these villages that he would get prepared an estimate for the construction of the bridge. But nothing happened," said Rajveer Singh Sandhu Bhaluria, state in-charge of the Punjab Welfare Society.
The situation turns worst during the rainy season as the whole drain is filled with rain water. The people of the area then have to pass through alternative ways and have to travel more than 20 km extra to reach their destinations.
"We have been demanding construction of a bridge at this drain for the past 25 years, but in vain. The solution to the problem is the construction of a bridge. While residents of these villages tried to install pipes for the passage of water, the authorities stopped them from doing so. The villagers were threatened with registration of criminal cases. However, we had made a temporary bridge which collapsed in rain", said Shukmohan Singh, a former panchayat member.
Parminder Singh Gill, deputy commissioner, said, "I have asked sub-divisional magistrate, Baghapurana, to visit the site and submit a report in this regard. I would write to the authorities concerned to solve the problem after receiving the report."