Broken Bridge Halts Life

In Kareli village, Himachal Pradesh, the lack of infrastructure makes villagers’ lives precarious.

Avdhesh, our Community Correspondent in Himachal Pradesh, used to visit his grandmother in Kareli, where she owns land. Because of rains and adverse weather conditions, he himself was blocked from travelling several times. Not being able to cross the river, since there was no bridge to reach the village, he had to return. Touched by the situation of the Kareli villagers, Avdesh decided to report on the hardships they face.

Around 200 people live in Kareli village, without concrete roads, with no doctor, and no shops. The village has been connected to the electricity network for only two years. Villagers have to walk 5-6 kilometers to reach the closest shops or catch a bus.

Their situation is rendered all the more difficult because there is no bridge to facilitate crossing the river. Indeed, a bridge had been constructed five years ago, but it did not support the flow of the river, and it broke. “The government had granted 2.7 lakhs for the construction of the bridge. But local contractors who were in charge of the project did not build a good-quality bridge. What’s more, there was a dispute over the location of the bridge. The final location was chosen according to some villagers’ convenience, but the bridge could not hold in that particular place,” explained Avdesh.

The villagers have now been left with no solution but to construct a trolley to cross the river. It is hazardous crossing this way, and it cannot be used for elderly and sick people. Therefore, the village remains isolated, with very restricted access to basic services and facilities.

Avdhesh wishes to screen his video to the villagers: “I wish my video would help settle the dispute over the location of the bridge, and show the villagers that they should mobilize to construct a new bridge, that would serve all them and connect them with the outside world.”

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