A dream-bridge comes true in Alipurduar
The residents of Josodanga village under Alipurduar-II block constructed a bridge over Bamni river on their own. It is hard to cross the river during the monsoon. The swelling river causes damage to farmlands and dwellings too. As they failed to draw attention of the authorities concerned to make a permanent bridge over the river they made it in their indigenous technology. Now it became easier for the residents of villages like Sibkata, Dhalkar and Josodanga under Majher-dabri Gram Panchayat to go the block development office, block health centre, land reforms office and the lone high school by crossing the Bamni river through the bridge.
In winter months the villagers have to cross the river on foot, as the water level remains low. On behalf of block administration a bamboo made bridge also comes up there. This temporary bridge flashes out when heavy downpour inflates the river. During the rainy season the river turns dangerous. Country boats are the main mode of transport during the monsoon. It is risky for the students, farmers, patients and all others to cross the river by boat. But they have to do it, as there is no better alternative.
This year, the locals have decided to construct a suspension bridge on their own. The plan behind it is that such a bridge may not flash out even if the water level of the river rises. Following the plan they constructed the bridge by collecting subscriptions from the villagers. It took about Rs 20,000. They made it with bamboo, wooden posts and galvanised iron wires. The bridge is hanging at a height of about 10-feet from the river-level. "Earlier we made appeals to the authorities but all those gone to deaf ears but at last we proved our worth because we are now crossing the river without any fear of washing out", said a proud elderly villager.