Chandigarh: Fed up with government apathy, villagers in Haryana's Sirsa district have built themselves a bridge they were awaiting for almost four decades. The 214-feet long, 16-feet wide steel and concrete bridge over river Ghaggar is now a reality.
For the locals, it will cut short a 40-km journey via Punjab to 10 km.
"Our children used to face a lot of difficulty while going to school," said a resident, Rajender Beniwal. "No one came to our help... not even when we started construction," added another local, Rajbeer.
From the time of the late Chief Minister Devi Lal to current chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the villagers had met one and all.
"Governments came and went... They all promised, but no help came. We met ministers, Parliamentarians, chief ministers, leaders from Congress, BJP and INLD... but all we got were assurances," said Major Singh, secretary of bridge construction committee.
Undeterred, the locals of Paniyari and the nearby villages decided to take matters in their own hands.
From old age to widow pensioners, 5 thousand locals of 9 nearby villages stepped forward. Together, they managed to raise Rs 1 crore. The construction began in April last year and now, the bridge is close to completion. So far, they have spent Rs 90 lakh.
But the villagers have decided to get their own back. They say they are thinking of boycotting these leaders in elections. And for good measure, no VIP or politician will ever be allowed to use the bridge. It will remain of the people, by the people and for the people,