Every day about 10,000 people risk their lives while crossing this small, broken down bridge in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal to go about their daily business. The bridge, which connects the small village of Banchukamari in Cooch Behar district, has been in a dilapidated state ever since two concrete rings were placed under it to make a culvert two years ago. However, when the villagers ask government to repair the bridge, government officials pass on the responsibility from one end to another, until they forget about the issue all together again.
The bridge has big potholes and stones on the road and only makeshift bamboo barriers to stop a person from falling of the bridge.”Every now and then, someone fractures a skull, breaks a leg traveling on this road” says Amal Das, resident of Banchukamari. The condition of the road deteriorates further during the monsoon. The workers come and do temporary repairs on the bridge by simply throwing sandbags over the broken parts of the road.
Our community correspondent from West Bengal, Bikash Barman decided to take up the issue with Kajal Dey the local Panchayat Pradhan (Head of local self-governance body). “When I took up the matter with her, she told me that the roads were made by Zila Parishad, the district council and that I should approach them,” says Barman. However, the Zila Parishad secretary Pushpita Roy Dakua too refused to find a solution. “They only repair our roads when we are completely cut off from the world and again forget about us completely” says Das.
Will the government wait for the bridge to completely collapse, causing irreversible damage in the village? Or can we stop a disaster from happening? Call Pushpita Roy, the District Council President on +919474499645 and demand that the bridge and culvert are repaired permanently so that the residents of Banchukamari can travel on the bridge in safety every day.