Sanctioned in 2008, bridge on Shadole nallah nowhere in sight

A tractor trying to pull out a Tata Sumo struck in Shadole nallah in Tehsil Mahore of Reasi district.
A tractor trying to pull out a Tata Sumo struck in Shadole nallah in Tehsil Mahore of Reasi district.

18 villages cut off with Tehsil hqrs

Govind Sharma
JAMMU, May 14: Sanctioned way back in the year 2008, a bridge on Shadole nallah in block Gulabgarh of tehsil Mahore in Reasi district is nowhere in sight even after a lapse of over 10 years and the people of about 18 villages of block Gulabgarh have been facing several hardships due to this casual approach of the authorities.
The Block Gulabgarh comprised of about 18 villages including Lar, Khore, Shadole, Ladh, Paghillya, Bharansal, Gulabgarh, Koibara, Bewal, Doga, Nahioch, Danehylla and Marag and an approximate population of about 40,000 souls. There are several big and small nallahs which came across if one travels through this block. One of them is Shadole nallah between village Shadole and village Tukson where no bridge exists till date and the people and vehicles have to cross the nallah by going through it.
According to sources, these 18 villages of block Gulabgarh remain cut off from the tehsil headquarter Mahore right from the month of April to September-October, as water level in this nallah increases considerably due to melting of ice on the mountains and people find it difficult to cross the nallah due to big boulders and high water level. Several people have lost their lives while crossing flooded nallah till date but the authorities are unmoved on the plight of common masses of this block.
Sources said that in the year 2008, a bridge at an estimated cost of over Rs one crore on this nallah was sanctioned under Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) but even after 10 years the work on the bridge is yet to be started due to the reasons best known to the authorities. They said people of these 18 villages are deprived of basic facility of road connectivity, besides health and educational facilities.
“There is only one PHC at Lar to cater to the health needs of the people of these 18 villages but there is neither a doctor nor any diagnostic facility. It is being run by two NOs who too are going to retire soon. Though there is a SDH at Mahore but due to high water level in the Shadole nallah, many a times people fail to reach there on time as they have to wait for several hours for the water level to recede,” alleged Tahira Parveen, a social activist from village Khore.
She further told that people of these villages are facing several problems in the absence of a bridge on this nallah, as for every revenue related work they have to go to tehsil headquarter located at Mahore for which they have to cross the nallah by putting their lives on risk. “What to say of Tehsildar and SDM even BDO office is located at Mahore, which further aggravates the problems of the people of these villages’, she added.
When contacted, DC Reasi, Indu Chib said that as she took over only two months back she has no knowledge whether any bridge was sanctioned on Shadole nallah but there is of course demand of the people to construct a bridge on this nallah, which swells in summer and monsoon seasons and acts as a major obstacle in free flow of traffic and people from block Gulabgarh to tehsil Mahore.
However, Xen PMGSY Mahore, Roshan Din, when contacted, said, “A bridge at an estimated cost of over Rs one crore was sanctioned in the year 2008 and the work was allotted to a Hyderabad based company but before the company could start the work, it was blacklisted by the authorities and all its tenders were terminated”.
He said in the year 2014, the retendering of the bridge was done and the work was allotted to a Doda based company but due to cloudburst and resultant flash flood in the nallah, the proposed site of the bridge was completely washed away.
“Now we have selected a new site but first due to bad weather and now due to ongoing Lok Sabha elections, the work could not be taken up. As soon as the election process is over, the work on the bridge will be started and our target is to complete the same by the end of this year,” the Xen added.