Sanction of wider bridge set to end villagers’ ordeal

₹19 lakh facility is expected to benefit around 3,000 people

Walking steadily on the two-feet-wide path across the seventh branch canal of the Telugu Ganga Project is not a child’s play. It is even more dangerous when water flows to the brim.

A slight drifting of the eyeballs away from the path into the deep canal could send shiver in the knees or make one swoon. At least four persons and several heads of cattle crashed down into the canal bed and lost their lives so far.

Yet, for those living in Kallipudi, a village in Thottambedu mandal in Chittoor district, the dangerous trek had become a part of their everyday life. For 35 years, the residents of the cluster of villages in the mandal falling under Srikalahasti constituency had been using the path, the only way to reach the other side of the canal.

And when someone in their village dies, it becomes even more difficult to tread on the narrow path, with the mortal remains, as the burial ground is situated on the other side.

“In such cases, if there is one walking from the other side of the bridge, one has to return to the starting point to give way for the procession,” says G.Narasimhulu, a cattle grazer of the vicinity.

But now, what once seemed a pipe dream to the villagers has come true with the sanction of a wider bridge. MLA B. Madhusudhan Reddy said that the ₹19 lakh-bridge is expected to benefit around 3,000 people in Kallipudi and adjoining villages. To ensure its strength and longevity, Mr. Reddy said only pedestrians and two-wheelers would be allowed on the ten-feet wide bridge. The villagers heaved a sigh of relief on hearing the news.

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