‘Killer bridge’ fails to wake up administrationMarch 10th, 2008 - 11:28 am ICT by admin
Jamnagar (Gujarat), March 10 (IANS) He could feel his motorcycle tyres slip in the gravel. The bridge had no railing on either side. The bike fell in the water, 10 metres deep. Bhikubhai Natha Parmar lost both his children. The ‘killer bridge’ over the Khodiyar check dam in this district had taken its toll again. Parmar, 27, and wife Meenaben, 25, would have been killed March 6 as well, except that a man came driving by on a tractor, saw them, threw them a rope and pulled them out.
The locals blamed the deaths of Hitesh, 5, and Ashwin, 5 months, on the apathy of the nearby Shaktinagar panchayat in Jamnagar district, 63 km from the district headquarters here.
They had been repeatedly asked to rail off the sides of the 50-metre-long bridge. A tractor fell off five years ago, killing three people and earning the bridge its infamous sobriquet. The panchayat did put in an iron railing after that. But it got stolen, and hasn’t been replaced.
The bridge is seven km from the Khambaliya taluka headquarters. When IANS asked the Khambaliya MLA Meghaji Kanzaria - who is also the Jamnagar district president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - he said the bridge fell under the jurisdiction of Shaktinagar panchayat.
Kanzaria said he would take up the issue with the panchayat authorities and see that new railings were placed. But he refused to set a time limit by which this would happen.
Deputy Collector of Jamnagar district B.V. Limbasia said he would write to the Shaktinagar panchayat authorities urging them to set up the railings as a priority measure.