People of more than 30 villages in the remote area of Jammu and Kashmir's Ramnagar in district Udhampur have benefited immensely from a bridge constructed by the government over the Ujh River.
The bridge, constructed under Pardhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in Cemani Village on Parla Chakkal to Balota road, is 70 metres long and cost about 296.89 lakh.
According to villagers, the bridge is the first of its kind to be built after Independence. They say its construction will be of great help to them and resolve many problems which they had faced over the years. They also hailed the government for the construction of the bridge.
Om Parkash from Dudu, a local said, "We wanted proper road connectivity and a bridge over the river Ujh for long so that these villages connect with rest of the world, and today we have succeeded in our first step towards the bigger dream."
"Earlier we faced many problems in crossing the river and many pople lost their lives. And now we have finally got a bridge and a road. We are thankful to the government of India and the Jammu and Kashmir administration," he added.
Earlier, there were two wooden planks that were used by the villagers to cross the river. The people and their livestock faced seious risks while crossing the river. Their lives were badly affected as they were unable to fetch ration and get other important items to their villages. Even children were unable to reach their schools owing to high water levels during rains and monsoon.
Makil Singh a student from Siya Mari Village in Basantgarh said, "Earlier we suffered due to the unavailability of a bridge. Many students did not attend the school in the monsoon season as the water level of the river used to rise, and it was very difficult to cross the river. But now, we have a bridge."
According to the villagers, thousands of villagers from about 30 villages stand to benefit from the bridge.
"People used to suffer a lot, especially wherever there was an emergency. On rainy days it was simply impossible to cross the river. The benefit of this bridge is not limited to Basantgarh but people from many other districts will be benefitted. A population of nearly 30,000 will be benefitted," said a resident of Basantgarh village.
( With inputs from ANI )
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