Trust builds steel bridge to help residents of Kallanda village
More than 25 families do not have to depend on flimsy wooden footbridge to cross the swollen Eluvarehalla stream during monsoon at Kallanda in Mitthbagilu in Belthangady taluk.
Residents now cross the overflowing creek using a sturdy steel bridge built with the help of “Yuva Tejassu Trust”.
The low water level allowed vehicles to cross the creek during the summer.
The villagers built a footbridge with areca nut logs to cross the stream during the monsoon.
“Walking on the wooden suspension bridge was risky as a slight slip would lead to certain death by falling into the swirling waters below,” said Yuva Tejassu Trust coordinator Guruprasad Panja.
The steel bridge is 35 feet long, 4 feet wide and constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1.50 lakh. The bridge is solid and even two-wheelers can cross the bridge.
“During the rainy season, locals parked two-wheelers on one side of the stream and used the rickety wooden bridges to reach their homes,” he said.
The bridge will benefit residents of Badanaje, Daipithilu, Kodabettu, Karimaru, Elyarakanda and other villages, he added.
Yuva Tejassu Trust, which has hundreds of members, meets regularly on WhatsApp groups.
“The Trust was registered in 2015. We started with a monthly membership of Rs 100 for charity. Currently the Trust has about 12 WhatsApp groups titled Yuva Tejassu Daanigala Balaga,” he said.
In the past, the Trust had raised funds to build houses for the poor, provided financial aid to families affected by floods, medical costs, etc.
He launched a social media campaign a few days ago to build steel suspension bridges in rural areas of Dakshina Kannada (DK) district.
Guruprasad said the death of a seven-year-old girl, who fell from a wooden walkway and drowned recently at Byndoor in Udupi, had a huge impact on them.
“Members took action to get details of dilapidated wooden walkways in their locality,” he said and added that they had received requests from more than 10 areas with wooden walkways in a pitiful state,” he said.
The Kallanda Steel Bridge is the first such bridge built under this campaign, he added.
“We will build bridges where there is no other way to help villagers reach their homes safely. The majority of requests for bridges come from isolated pockets in Markanja, Aranthodu, Kollamogru, Kombaru, Siribagilu and other areas of Sullia.
and the Belthangady taluks,” he said.
Trust members and supporters donate money to the cause. Work on the bridges will be resumed with permission from the respective gram panchayats, Guruprasad said.