In Himachal’s Palampur, daily commute of students to school is fraught with danger

Children risk their lives to reach school by crossing a wooden bridge on a rivulet

In Himachal’s Palampur, daily commute of students to school is fraught with danger

Schoolchildren risk their live while crossing temporary bamboo bridge. Tribune photo

Ravinder Sood

Palampur, August 4

Schoolchildren and villagers of Hangloh and Bagroa areas risk their lives every day to cross the temporary wooden bridge over the Lingti rivulet 10 kilometers from Palampur as the authorities concerned have failed to reconstruct a pucca bridge.

In present circumstances, the journey of dozens of school children is full of risk as they have to cross the bamboo bridge constructed by villagers themselves in place of the concrete bridge that washed away a few years ago.

The temporary bridge can fall at any time or wash away in the swollen khud during the monsoon. Some students even take the bigger risk of wading through the rivulet that is notorious for the sudden rise in its level during the monsoon.

Villagers find it difficult to cross the bridge carrying ill persons to reach the hospital in case of an emergency. The bridge with creaking planks makes it a horrifying journey. It is the lifeline of villagers who use it regularly to go to Palampur, Gopalpur and Nagri to buy essential commodities.

Three years ago two students were washed away in the lower area of Palampur while crossing the wooden bridge.

Villagers lament that they had apprised everyone from local Panchayat officials to the MLA and Chief Minster about their problems but no action had been taken so far. They are now thinking of not sending their children to school to save them from perennial danger.

Zila Parishad member Mangla Chaudhary says, “We are always concerned about the well-being of our children, who risk their lives while crossing the temporary wooden bridge to go to school. Public representatives have ignored our problems despite repeated reminders for the construction of a concrete bridge.”

She said she visited ZP office yesterday and hope that funds would be released soon for the construction of the pucca bridge.

“We find it difficult to ferry goods and ill persons as it is very risky to walk on wooden planks of the bridge that could give way any moment,” said Dinesh Dhiman, Kamla, Kamna Devi and Reena, all residents of Hangloh panchayat.

Panchayat pradhan Piar Chand said despite repeated requests state government did not release funds for the construction of a concrete bridge urgently required and if that is not possible the wooden bridge should be repaired so that it does not get washed away in rains.

 

Tribune Shorts


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