June 11, 2021 12:08:53 am
After a wait of more than 70 years, the bridge over River Ghaggar is ready.
The bridge, or the lack of one, was the highlight of an intense campaign by The Indian Express, which had highlighted how residents of at least 59 villages of Morni risked their lives daily, balancing their way over a four-inch-wide water pipeline over the Ghaggar River.
Although the new bridge, on which some finishing touches like the painting of berms remained, is likely to be officially inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on June 20, villagers have already started using it.
The Indian Express had in 2018-19 highlighted the plight of how, in the absence of a bridge, villagers, especially students of Government Senior Secondary School Koti, had to risk their lives daily to cross using Ghaggar on a four-inch-wide, 20-foot-high water pipeline, which was the only way to access their school and other destinations daily. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar later laid the foundation stone of the project on October 23 in 2019.
The bridge was almost ready in early 2020, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak work came to a grinding halt, as several labourers working on the project, made their back to their hometowns. There were issues regarding the availability of raw material also, because of which work could only resume at the beginning of this year.
A senior official of the PWD department, while speaking to The Indian Express, said, “ It is a seven-metre wide bridge and there are five spans of 22-metres each. The length of the bridge in total is around 110-metres. Due to Covid-19, work could only be resumed this year. Then, there was a road that was found damaged below, so the project got further delayed. A 900-metre road now connects the school with the villages of Morni, and passes over the bridge. Villagers can easily commute now.” The height of the bridge is around 60 feet from the ground.
The official added that the formal inauguration is on June 20, but the bridge has already been thrown open for commuter use.
After The Indian Express campaign, Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma had visited the school and Haryana Chief Minister announced the construction of a bridge over Ghaggar river.
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