Government’s apathy in providing all-weather bridge to the island forces them to act
As the rains subsided, residents of Pavoor-Uliya Kudru (river island) got the temporary footbridge across Netravathi connecting the island with the mainland rebuilt with the support of Infant Jesus Shrine this year too.
While negotiating the swollen Netravathi during monsoon in boats, putting their life at risk, the residents devised the footbridge about five years ago for commute during non-monsoon season after the government remained mute to their problem. Located off Adyar on National Highway 75, Pavoor-Uliya Kudru has about 50 households and the shrine. Boats had been the only mode of connectivity between the island and the mainland.
Fr. Jerald Lobo, parish priest, told The Hindu on Tuesday that there would be no issue of connectivity for the next seven months for the residents of the island. The “self-financed” footbridge could be used to reach the island that has verdant green cover and could also be an ideal location to spend time in leisure, he said.
The initial investment on the bridge was about ₹10 lakh, mainly on procuring steel scaffolding and wooden planks. Residents raised funds from other parishes too while a few philanthropists made donations. In subsequent years, the expenditure was mainly towards the labour even as residents volunteered to erect the bridge every year. About ₹70,000 was spent this year, Fr. Lobo said.
While no user fee was collected initially, a fee of ₹5 was prescribed last year and ₹15 this year. However, there is no fee collection counter; users have to deposit the money in a box at the entry or exit of the bridge. This was to ensure people do not depend upon donations for erecting the bridge once again after the rains.
Erection of the bridge, about 250 metres long, was not an easy task as the depth of Netravathi varies abruptly on the alignment. Consequently, they have to use poles of different lengths to provide the footpath.
The bridge is located about 14 km from Mangaluru off National Highway 75. One has to take a ‘U’ turn at Adyar Naga Bana after Sahyadri College campus and move towards the city for a little distance. A board on the left hand side of the highway directs to the Infant Jesus shrine from where a small road leads to the bridge.
Source: Read Full Article