Plea for bridge falls on deaf ears: TN villagers wade through river with corpse for funeral
“We have been demanding construction of a minor bridge across the river so that we can have easy access to Padavedu. But no one cared to take necessary action to end our woes,” rued a villager
TIRUVANNAMALAI: There has been a long-pending plea for a bridge to provide easy access to Padavedu for residents of Kamandalapuram, Malligapuram and tribal villages of Irulamparai, Thanjanparai, Nadir, Muthandikudisai and Seerakollai. But it continues to fall on deaf ears.
The absence of a bridge to cross the Kamandala river to reach the other side, Padavedu, falling under Polur block in Tiruvannamalai district, has left people in dire straits whenever the river is in spate. Due to heavy rains brought by Cyclone Nivar and discharge of water from the nearby Shenbagathope dam, the river has swelled.
Family members of an octogenarian, Settu, of Kamandalapuram village, had to carry his body wading through the river to reach the opposite side for performing the last rites.
“Settu died of ageing problems on Wednesday. As per the custom, the family members and relatives took the body to the crematorium by carrying it on their shoulders after wading through the waters,” says A Amulraj, a researcher of history, belonging to Malligapuram village.
School and college students too bore the brunt of the swollen river before the Covid lockdown. “Whenever, the river swells, students had to reach their respective institutions with their clothes drenched,” Ezhumalai, a local villager notes.
He rues, “We have been demanding construction of a minor bridge across the river so that we can have easy access to Padavedu. But no one cared to take necessary action to end our woes.”
Amulraj states that about 1500 people are living at Kamandalapuram and Malligapuram while 4000 tribal folk are staying in the neighbouring village. All of them have to cross the river to reach Padavedu for essential needs. Otherwise, they have to take a detour of 6 km to reach the nearby town.