Foot-bridge continues to face Govt’s apathy


A population of over 14,000 souls of about half a dozen remote villages and over score of hamlets of Dudu area, are exposed to the risk to their lives, especially during the flood when they cross the river on long logs of wood being used as temporary bridge since decades. On several occasions, mishaps took place on this bridge and three persons were washed away 4-5 years ago but Administration did not take lesson from it. Most unfortunate and hapless people have lost about a dozen members during past two decades due to absence of any bridge on river Tawi during rainy seasons. A Government teacher lost his wife and minor son in flood near Kukain Bali in flooded Tawi two years ago while his daughter was saved by the locals, a villager from Panchount said. Abandoned about 27 years ago, a much needed foot-bridge for huge population over river Tawi at Dudu town continued to face Government apathy while over 14,000 population of two Panchayats of Panchount besides Kirchi and some adjoining villages in remote Dudu Sub Division of district Udhampur are waiting for another foot bridge over Tawi since 1988.
As earlier highlighted by our newspaper the locals have raised this issue and asked the different governments from time to time, for solving their issue. For the last few days again, the whole population of the area is locked as logs have again washed away due to rain and flood. Their children cannot go to schools. They cannot fetch essential supplies from Jakhed, Latti or Dudu as there is no passage. Panchount area has lost about 10 people so far in floods in the absence of any bridge.
The Higher Secondary School is at Jakhed or Latti and the children of the area remain stranded many times during flood in the riverand if a permanent bridge is sanctioned for this area, the people will have great sigh of relief. The foot bridge is about 200 ft in length at Lower Dudu was sanctioned about 27 years back by the Government. The Government also released funds and R&B started work and also raised concrete platform at right bank of the river. The compensation to the two families was also paid, but despite that the R&B abandoned the work for the reason best known to the people at the helm of affairs. The work could not be resumed on the foot bridge till today despite many requests to the respective Deputy Commissioners at Udhampur.

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