Odisha Man Mortgages Plantation To Build Bamboo Bridge For His Village

Image Credits: Hindustan Times 

The Logical Indian Crew

Odisha Man Mortgages Plantation To Build Bamboo Bridge For His Village

A tribal boatman named Jaydev Bhatra from the state's Koraput district built the bridge to improve connectivity with the nearby villages.

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A man named Jaydev Bhatra mortgaged his sugarcane plantation to build a bamboo bridge for his village. Located in Odisha's Koraput district, the bridge is 100-metre long, connecting Basuli village with Kantasarguda in the Nabrangpur district. Around Rs 1 lakh was spent after pledging his plantation on the construction to alleviate the public's commuting woes.

Bhatra is a boatman by profession. The 55-year-old man transported the villagers from one end of the Indravati river to the other. However, with the boat's deteriorating condition, he undertook the responsibility of building the bridge that took him three years to complete.

Tired Of Government Promises

According to the Hindustan Times, a foundation stone was laid by CM Naveen Pattnaik in 2016 at Nabrangpur's Chirma village. "The project deadline estimated at ₹16.30 crore was first extended to 2019 and then February 2021. But in five years, not a single pillar of the bridge could be completed, "Gumuda panchayat's sarpanch named Sonaru Pujari told the publication.

The constant government assurance frustrated Bhatra. He said, "I had grown tired of government assurances of construction of a bridge over Indravati. Though I made a livelihood from making hundreds of people across the river, it was getting difficult. So I started constructing the bamboo bridge across the river three years ago."

Wobbly Yet Complete

The boatman sourced the necessary bamboo from the local markets. At first, his endeavour was supported wholeheartedly by people in both the villages. However, the support dwindled over time. Despite the hurdle, Bhatra worked hard to complete this bridge independently, with help from some villagers and his son named Banamali. For him, it was a hard decision to mortgage his sugarcane plantation, but there was no other way. He even invited the local MLA, Sadashiv Padhani, for the inauguration, but he did not.

The bridge serves the purpose of the villagers, despite it being a little shaky. Motorcycles can pass through it quickly. Commuters tend to pay Rs five and Rs 10 to him, even though he is not taking any toll now. "Though the villagers have been demanding construction of a bridge over Indravati for more than a decade, Bhatra made it a reality. His sheer commitment is unparalleled," Pujari lauded Bhatra's efforts.

Soon after this, Nabrangpur's district collector Kamal Lochan Mishra called this development an "insult to the government." Further, he has asked for a report on the status of the proposed bridge construction.

Also Read: Himachal's Women Farmers Awarded For Conserving Rare Red Rice Variety

Contributors Suggest Correction
Writer : Akanksha Saxena
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Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
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Creatives : Akanksha Saxena

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