Bisoi: Even as lakhs of rupees was spent on this, the Jaladiha bridge, the only means of communication between Bisoi, Bijatala and Kusumi blocks of Mayurbhanj district, was washed away again for the third time in a row in four years thanks to the laxity of the authorities.
Since cyclone Phailin in 2014, either low pressure induced rain or a heavy downpour has been causing damage to the bridge time and again, putting the villagers of both sides in trouble. The third such breach in last four years occurred Saturday night following incessant rain over last two days, locals said.
A year back, the Rural Development Department had got the bridge repaired by spending Rs 5 lakh, only to be washed away again. As predicted, the bridge could not withstand heavy downpour November, 2017 and gave in, putting the villagers of both sides apart.
Failing to attract the attention of the administration despite repeated pleas, residents of Palasbani, a village under Raihari panchayat, had constructed a temporary bamboo bridge by collecting money from their pockets and self labour.
Later, the administration came under pressure and constructed a wooden bridge at the cost of Rs 1.75 lakh in place of the rickety bamboo bridge. However, the recent two-day long downpour washed away the wooden bridge yet again.
Thousands of villagers of Bautibeda, Sanapurunapani and Bhatachhatra panchayat under Bisoi block and Raihari panchayat under Bijatala block are paying the price owing to the breach, thanks to the callous work of the administration.
Students, who used the bridge to reach their schools are now missing their classes. Moreover, villagers are not able to go to block headquarters for daily essentials. With the connection being snapped, locals feared that they would not be able to avail ambulance and fire services in case of any emergency.
They demanded early commencement of the bridge construction work before things worsen. Reports suggested that an estimated Rs 3.36 crore has been allocated for construction of a permanent bridge under the Biju Setu Yojana.