Authorities have turned a blind eye to their travails
Life has not changed for the people of Maroor, Doddaharve, Doddahosur, Ranigate, Embhathu Acre in Periyapatna taluk of Mysore district or for those of Guddehosur in Kodagu since more than a century.
They live dangerously, crossing the Cauvery by bamboo rafts.
In local parlance, this spot is called “Teppadakandi” (“teppa” means raft and “kandi” means spot).
Bamboo raft is their only mode to cross the Cauvery from the Periyapatna side to Kodagu and vice-versa.
Both the Mysore and Kodagu district administration and elected representatives have turned a blind eye to the travails of the people.
There have been instances where students themselves have steered the raft during emergencies.
Seeing students, some along with their bicycles, crossing the river on the raft from Maroor and surrounding villages, will send shivers down the spine.
A large number of students from Periyapatna side, particularly from Maroor, come to middle school in Guddehosur and high school and colleges in Kushalnagar.
Several farmers, and those working in plantations and constructions sites in and around Guddehosur also use bamboo rafts to cross the river.
“We are used to this situation…,” said Putta, a resident of Guddehosur.
The Kodagu district administration had not even thought of operating a mechanised boat here till such time a hanging bridge is constructed, he said.
He told The Hindu that many farmers living here owned farmlands at Maroor, across the river and they had to cross the Cauvery often.
The water-level has risen considerably in the last two days owing to copious rain. Whether the Kodagu district administration declares monsoon holidays for schools or not, it is holiday for students coming from the villages in Periyapatna taluk, Guddemane Vishu Kumar, another resident of Guddehosur, said.
Rowing the bamboo raft when the river was swollen was dangerous, he said.
The students cross the river as Kushalnagar town was only 5 km from here. On the other hand, reaching Kushalnagar town from Maroor and other villages would take more than 16 km from the Koppa gate (Mysore district) side, Mr. Putta said.
Farmers from Maroor and other villages could not bring milk for sale here on Thursday in view of rising water-level, he said. Similarly, it was holiday for labourers who came to work in the plantations in Kodagu, he added.
Pleas of the residents to the authorities and elected representatives on both sides to construct a hanging bridge across the river have fallen on deaf ears, said Rajanna, a resident here.
Vincent, a local journalist, said that over 150 people crossed the river every day during summer. The number of people crossing the river came down during monsoon. About eight to 10 people travel on the raft at a time.
Why doesn't the Government, which spends crores of rupees every year for laying roads, sanction funds for constructing a hanging bridge here? he asked.