By Yadavraj Puri, Rautahat, July 16: Sumitra Devi, a local of Banjaraha which lies across the Bakaiya River, seemed to be scared stiff while crossing the river in a boat.
She was crossing the river to reach the district headquarters, Gaur, to run her errands.
Due to fear, she was sitting in the middle of the boat, in between other passengers.
Whenever she has to cross the river, she remembers five people losing their lives after the boat sank in the river two years ago.
As the construction of a concrete bridge which started six years ago has yet not been completed, the villagers across Bakaiya River and Gaur locals are compelled to cross the river in an unsafe boat, putting their lives at risk.
The then Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had inaugurated the construction of the bridge on July 13, 2014 with a view to ease lives of people in Banjaraha, Auraiya, Mithiya and Ishnath Municipalities to cross the Bakaiya River.
Pappu Construction had won the bid to construct the bridge at Rs. 149,227,150.
The construction was supposed to complete on July 9, 2017. But according to engineer Madnmohan Kumar Singh, information officer of the Division Road Office, only 35 per cent of the construction work has been completed until now.
Due to the delay in construction, five persons had lost their lives after a boat sank in the same place on August 25, 2018.
Hari Narayan Rauniyar, suspended member of the parliament, is the director of Pappu construction.
“The construction company has been delaying the work by showing various disturbances in the construction such as unavailability if the construction materials, protests, flood, rainfall and other natural disasters as such,” informed Nanda Kishor Gupta, chief administrative officer of Ishnath Municipality.
The company has been able to get the deadline extended by showing various reasons.
People’s lives have been at risk due to delay in the bridge building work. The boat operated in the area is in terrible condition.
Along with people, motorcycles, cycles, fodders and wood are also carried in the same boat.