River-crossing hurdle to go to school in Andhra Pradesh

People of these villages have been waiting for the past three decades to get a bridge across the river to go to their mandal headquarters, Saluru.

Published: 12th August 2022 04:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2022 10:00 AM   |  A+A-

Students, accompanied by their parents, cross River Vegavathi to go to school in Saluru mandal.

Students, accompanied by their parents, cross River Vegavathi to go to school in Saluru mandal. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

PARVATHIPURAM-MANYAM: Going to school during the rainy season has become a difficult task for students of several villages in Saluru mandal in the absence of a bridge across the River Vegavathi. When Vegavathi swells with huge inflows, the students of Peda Parannavalasa, Chinna Parannavalasa and Rongalivanivalasa villages have only two options -- cross the river risking their lives or skip school.  

People of these villages have been waiting for the past three decades to get a bridge across the river to go to their mandal headquarters, Saluru. Though these villages are just 4 km away from Saluru, the villagers have to travel at least 12 km by road to reach Saluru for their day-to-day activities such as education, employment, business, livelihood and medical and health.

Peda Parannavalasa, Chinna Parannavalasa and Rongalivanivalasa are agriculture and dairy-based villages with good water resources such as Kura Gedda and Vegavathi. Though the previous Congress government of the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh started construction of a bridge on the river in 2009, the works were stopped mid-way due to various reasons.

Now, the abandoned structure is in a dilapidated condition. After a series of agitations by villagers, the previous TDP regime sanctioned a causeway at Pedda Parannavalasa at an estimated cost of Rs 1.44 crore. However, it did not go beyond the tender stage.

Speaking to TNIE, Chokkapu Trinadha Rao of Peda Parannavalasa said, “We are dropping our children at school by carrying them on our shoulders while crossing the river. This will often affect our agriculture and daily works. The construction of a bridge has become a distant dream for us. We are crossing the river in a dangerous way even during medical emergencies. In the process,  a few villagers were washed away in the floodwater earlier. Therefore, I appeal to the government to build either the bridge or the causeway at the earliest.”

School headmaster Umamaheswara Rao said at least 30 students from surrounding villages are facing hardship to come to school during the rainy season as there is no bridge across the river. Officials said fund crunch is preventing them from taking up any initiative to take up construction of the bridge.



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