People in a few villages located on the banks of the Lower Bhavani Project canal in Nasiyanur block of the district are forced to travel a few kilometres extra everyday as a bridge built across the waterway collapsed a few months ago.

The bridge, which was built across the canal about 50 years ago connecting the Olapalayam and Kannavelampalayam villages in Nasiyanur block, came down crashing in the first week of December last year.

The long absence of maintenance weakened the bridge and it collapsed when water was released in the canal last year, residents said.

People in Olapalayam, Kannavelampalayam and a few other villages in the block were travelling four to five kilometres circumventing a few villages to reach their destinations because of the lack of a bridge.

Residents claimed that they had appealed to the public works department to take immediate steps to construct a new bridge across the waterway.

Our pleas did not yield any fruitful results and we did not receive any positive response from the department till date.

Officials in the department, however, said they had already taken this issue to the notice of the government and received approval for the construction of a new bridge.

Fund allotted

“A sum of Rs. 80 lakh had been earmarked for the new bridge. We will call for tenders soon. The construction work is likely to commence within two months,” a senior official said.

The official further said the government had allotted Rs. 25 lakh for the construction of another bridge across the canal near Modakurichi.

The canal provides water to more than 2.07 lakh hectares of lands in Erode and neighbouring Karur and Tirupur districts.

Thousands of farmers depend on the canal for irrigation in these districts. The canal runs for about 125 miles, mainly in Erode, and terminates in the border of Karur district.