A Bridge Too Far For Solang Village in Kullu-Manali Valley

Solang villagers did boycott the 2014 Lok Shaba and 2012 Vidhan Sabha elections, promises are made but nothing more than that has been done to connect our village

Manali: The bridge between Solang Nallah and Solang village has been hanging fire for years now. Chief minister Virbhadra Singh had laid the foundation stone for this important  bridges estimated to costRs 371.68 lakh on 15th May 2015, but no work has been started on it since that day.

Tree Bridge

Solang village was gutted in devastating inferno in November 2008. Thirty five of the 50 houses in what was one of the oldest village of Kullu, were gutted in fire. About 60 families were rendered homeless.

A major obstacle in carrying out rescue and relief then was that a fire brigade was unable to reach the village because there was no no bridge over Solang Nallah the the rescue teams could cross over to save some property for the blaze. Staff of Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment along with about 40 soldiers from the Army transit camp at Palchan had trekked it up to the village, carrying water pumping machines that had managed to lift some water from the nearby drinking water source to douse the flames.

Tree Bridge 2

A weak foot bridge that connected the remote village to the outside world has been washed away by a flood and the village stands totally cut off.

Speaking about the problems of reaching the village Devi Chand, a former president of the panchayat let Hill Post know that the about 350 residents of the cut off village were risking their life while crossing over a makeshift temporary tree bridge across Solang Nallah, the only access point to the village. “There being no veterinary dispensary in the village we are unable to take our cows and other animals to hospital as they cannot cross over the river which is in a flood like condition,” said Devi Chand.

bridge3

Karm Chand  panch of this village revealed that children have not been able to  go to school as the make shift bridge is risky for them. He further said that his wife broke her leg and she is lying in bed, unable to get any treatment because of the approach problem.

Pana Lal, the Pradhan of the panchayat pointed out that resentment against the government and establishment was high in the village. Solang villagers did boycott the 2014 Lok Shaba and 2012 Vidhan Sabha elections, promises are made but nothing more than that has been done to connect our village, he said.

stone

Krishan Lal, a resident of Solang complained about being unable to fetch the families daily needs as the markets could not be accessed.

Jyoti Rana, the sub divisional magistrate of Manali told Hill Post that the public works department had been directed to immediately make a ropeway  bridge to the cutoff village.

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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