A year on, Anaru bridge yet to be rebuilt

The arecanut plantation of Jyothi Gokhale’s family at Kadamanagundi in Aanadkka under Malavanthige Gram Panchayat in Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada on Saturday.  

A year after flash floods hit villages under the jurisdiction of three gram panchayats on the foothills of the Western Ghats in Belthangady taluk, a bridge which had been washed away under Charmadi Gram Panchayat is yet to be restored.

The bridge in question constructed across the Mrutyunjaya river, a tributary of the Netravathi, was at Anaru.

The floods had damaged two other bridges, one at Parlani and another at Aralapade, constructed across the same river, cutting off the connectivity to about 400 families living on the foothills of the ghats with the main land Charmadi and Kakkinje through which the National Highway 73 (Mangaluru-Charmadi-Chikkamagaluru Road) passed.

Ravi Poojary, a former member of Charmadi Gram Panchayat, told The Hindu that about 100 families, including that of the Malekudiya tribals, at Anaru, have been using the restored bridges at Parlani and Aralapade to cross the river and to travel between the main land and their homes on the foothills of the ghats.

“If the bridge lost at Anaru is rebuilt, the distance from Anaru to Kakkinje on the mainland will be about 2 km. It will be 5 to 6 km, if it is via Parlani and Aralapade bridges, which is a roundabout route,” he said.

Prakash Shetty, in-charge Panchayat Development Officer, Charmadi GP, said that a proposal to re-construct the bridge at Anaru is still active and is before the government.

“Like last year we faced some anxious moments two days ago when some tree trunks and debris carried by the river due to heavy rain in the ghats got stuck again in vented-dam-cum-bridge at Aralapade. They were removed later using an earthmover. Now, it appears that the bridge there should not have been built at such a low level. It is facing the threat for the second consecutive year,” Mr. Poojary said.

In addition to areas under Charmadi, the flood on August 9, 2019, had created havoc in the villages under the jurisdiction of Malavanthige and Mittabagilu GPs in the same taluk.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 2:04:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/a-year-on-anaru-bridge-yet-to-be-rebuilt/article32312301.ece

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