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Odisha villagers walk the tightrope to cross river

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Daringbadi, Sep 29:

Residents of five villages in Simanbadi panchayat under Daringbadi block in Odisha’s Kandhamal district have a harrowing ordeal, especially during monsoon, while crossing over to the other end of Tikapata river.

ropeway kandhamal

They risk their lives by walking a tightrope and do a balancing act to get to the other end of the river.

The villagers of Gobatbadi, Kudinamja, Larinbadi, Baligada and Aadagadu have been waiting for the last 15 years for construction of a bridge across the river, just 35 km from Baliguda.

These villagers are almost cut off during the monsoon with sharp current flowing in the river and river overflowing in the banks.  School children, the elderly, even the sick all use this hanging ropeway to reach to their destinations on the other side of the river.

15 years of wait

The bridge work construction had started 15 years back but is far from over.

The work on construction of the bridge started in 2000, but due to government apathy and bureaucratic negligence the project is hanging fire.

Sick, pregnant women and children face difficulty in crossing the river with the help of rope tied to the trees on either side of the river. The farmers too find it difficult to transport their produce to the other side of the river and sell their produce in the market.

Officials unaware

BDO Sunakar Sharma, said that he is aware of the problem but did not know that people were crossing the river holding only a rope. He added that, the bridge could not be constructed because of past mistakes of earlier officers and people. Crores have been wasted on the bridge because it was started without testing the soil.