Fed up of Odisha’s government’s inaction, a retired livestock inspector from Keonjhar district used his pension savings to build a bridge across the river. The man identified as Gandahar Rout has spent his entire life in a village near the Salandi river. However, the absence of a bridge always made it difficult for the villagers to commute to other parts of the district.
The Salandi may be a lifeline for many farmers living on the banks of the river, but the lack of a bridge forced residents like Rout to take alternate routes or even row across the river to reach farmlands, reported Hindustan Times.
But thanks to Rout’s efforts, the village of Kanpur, which comprises 200 people, will soon be connected to Daneipur across the river. The retired man has used up almost his entire pension savings to build a 270-feet long bridge that will connect his village to a Daneipur.
Rout decided to put in his own money in constructing the bridge due to the government’s inaction. He and the other villagers of Kanpur had been requesting the state to build a bridge for many years now. Despite repeated requests, no help was offered and the villagers were left with no choice but to continue with a bamboo bridge.
When a local truck owners’ association and a local MLA saw the plight of the people of Kanpur village, they contributed Rs 3 lakh each to build a bridge. But due to some unavoidable circumstances, the bridge couldn’t be completed.
After a decade of delay and failed requests to the government, Rout decided to complete the bridge using his own money.
“I thought that if I don’t build it, no one else will. My nephew and I had surveyed several bridges in the area to get a good idea and after buying cement, bricks and iron rods, I started in October 2016,” Rout told Hindustan Times.
Rout said the initial estimated cost of the construction was Rs 6 lakh. But it shot up to Rs 6 lakh after the pillars were erected.
The bridge is currently incomplete but Rout hopes to finish the structure when he receives his arrears from the government.
Courtesy: Times Now
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