After a suspension bridge fell down in Morbi, Gujarat, tension prevailed in Shivapura village in Yellapur of Uttara Kanna district. A tourist attempted to cross a local suspension bridge on Sunday. The narrow bridge is built across the backwaters of the Kodasalli reservoir.
Locals were shocked to see a Maruti Suzuki 800 trying to cross the narrow hanging bridge. The driver, who was a tourist could not veer through the bridge. Locals stopped the driver as soon as they spot him. The driver started an argument with the locals and demanded that he should be allowed to cross the bridge.
After heated arguments and many locals gathered at the spot, the car driver decided to back down and reversed his car. Locals allow light two-wheelers like bicycle and even motorcycles through the bridge but four-wheelers are not allowed.
This bridge is the only connectivity for the residents of Shiavapura village and surrounding hamlets to reach Joida taluk. Without the bridge, the locals need to travel about 150 km more to reach the same destination. Several youngsterd from the village work in Joida, Dandeli and Goa and use their two-wheelers to cross the bridge. Locals had also opposed to the movement of the auto rickshaws on the bridge.
Demand for action against tourist
The locals have voiced their concerns and has pointed to a signboard that says “four wheelers are not allowed on the bridge”. Locals say that the suspension bridge cannot take all the weight at the same point. The car and the driver easily weigh around 700 kg, so it is not safe to commute on the hanging bridge. For several years, the bridge remained broken and the authorities did not repair it. The villagers had to take the longer route in and out.
The locals have also passed the registration number of the vehicle to the local authorities. They demand action against the driver so that people do not try to cross the bridge in the future.
The suspension bridge was constructed in 2015 and since then it has been used by the locals of Joida and Yellapur taluk. There are people who cross the bridge from both the sides and there are jeeps available to continue to the destination. Apart from locals, many tourists also come to see the bridge when they visit the famous Sathodi waterfalls.
Most bridges have capacity mentioned so that they can be used safely. Small and narrow suspension bridges are not made to handle heavy weights. These are specially made for the convinience of the locals and sold the connectivity issues that they face. Many remote areas of the country have similar bridges.