Moodbidri, Sept 15, 2019: The make shift footbridge at Arbi, connecting Aanegudde and Valpadi villages in Moodbidri taluk, collapsed five years ago. No step has been initiated for a replacement, not even a temporary one even after 5 years.
There are 80 houses on both sides of the Arbi rivulet. The residents are depending on the footbridge to cross the overflowing rivulet during the rainy season.
The communication between the two villages has been affected due to lack of a bridge. Without the bridge, the villagers have to traverse through a long arduous alternative route to reach the main road.
The Valpady Garadi is known for its annual fair and special ‘Sankramana’ festivities in the Hindu month of Shravana, which are attended by a large number of devotees.
The lack of a footbridge is causing inconvenience to the devotees visiting the Garadi.
The villagers said that when the water level is low in summer ways are found. It is impossible to cross the rivulet when it is flowing during monsoon. A local farmer said that lack of a footbridge is affecting very negatively a lot. Farming activities have been affected and it is next to impossible to carry farm produce for sale. The footbridge should be constructed without more delays.
The Department had constructed a foot bridge seven years ago. However, it was washed away in the flood.
The villagers have submitted petitions to the Shirthadi Gram Panchayat, the local MLA and the MP. Responding to the plea, then MLA Abhayachandra Jain had sanctioned Rs 10 lakh for the work on the footbridge. Alleging that the fund was not sufficient, the villagers had staged a protest and the money was returned without being utilised for the purpose.
Now, local MLA Umanath Kotian and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel have visited the spot and promised to ensure the construction of a new bridge.
A special ‘Kola’ is held on the ‘Sankramana’ in the month of Shravana at Valpadi Garadi. This year, it is not being observed due to heavy rain and serious flooding.