The bridge proposed to be built with Rs 50 crore to connect Ayodhyalanka and Putchalalanka for a distance of nearly half a km in the midst of Vasista river is all set to help the remote island villagers literally build bridges with the outside world.

Social Welfare Minister Pitani Satyanarayana is scheduled to lay the foundation for the bridge’s construction at Ayodhyalanka which falls under his Achanta Assembly constituency, on Thursday at 11a.m.

Flood of requests

The Minister has been faced with a flood of requests from the residents of these villages during each of his visits for infrastructure development ever since his election.

Although Ayodhyalanka and Puchalalanka geographically come under the jurisdiction of West Godavari district, they are located in the midst of the river in such a way that they are more connected to East Godavari district.

For around 4,000 inhabitants of Ayodhyalanka, their daily life is linked up with a cruise on the river to land in East Godavari district via Gannavaram. T

hey cross the river by boat up to Putchalalanka. Still, a small stream divides Putchalanka and Gannavaram which forces them to engage a boat again when it is in spate.

Dependence on boats

Hordes of people are seen cruising in boats everyday to market their agricultural products such as coconuts, bananas and beetle leaves, to go to schools and colleges and to access healthcare in emergency -- all in East Godavari district.

The island villages shoot into the limelight only when the country boats ferrying their inhabitants capsize in the river and at times of floods which play havoc with them.

D. Venkateswara Rao, professor of political science, from Sri Y.N. College at Narasapur, who hails from one of these island villages, said the proposed bridge could provide only partial connectivity.

The residents of the Ayodhyalanka are constrained to still travel across two main streams within Vasista river by boat for a distance of 2 km when they require to reach Achanta in West Godavari district as the proposed bridge provides them the connectivity to only the other side of the Vasishta in East Godavari district.

Mr. Rao highlighted the need for construction of a similar bridge on the side of West Godavari district also enabling the island villagers to get full connectivity and let their long-cherished dream come true.