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Posted at: Jul 21, 2019, 7:09 AM; last updated: Jul 21, 2019, 7:33 PM (IST)

Bridge over Ghaggar is all they seek

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 20

Dharampal Gir uses an inflated rubber tube to cross the Ghaggar and reach his fields. This has been his life, day in and day out. In Shekhupura village of Patiala district, women and children risk their lives every day to reach the other side of the Ghaggar, known for its fury.

Despite a 50-year-long wait for a bridge, the residents have not yet given up hope. In the run-up to the parliamentary elections, Preneet Kaur, now Member of Parliament from Patiala, had visited the village and had promised to meet their demand. Villagers say the river never runs dry. In summer, the water level dips a little and the current being not too strong, they are able to wade through in groups. 

In the absence of a bridge, residents of Shekhupura and adjoining Badla, Badli, and Bangran villages have to travel an extra 5 km via Devigarh to reach the other side of the river for daily chores. “A majority of dwellers have fields on the other side. We use inflated tubes to cross over. Every politician from this area is aware of our problem, but none has come to our help,” says Dharampal. Former sarpanch Baljeet Bharti says scores of lives have been lost while crossing the intemperate river.

“Distressed, villagers have often put up temporary wooden planks, but these do not last long,” points out  another villager, Ranjit Gir.

It will be built, says Patiala MP

I am aware of the problem. The bridge will certainly be made. However, I cannot give a deadline. — Preneet Kaur, MP


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