Jammu: Set to provide better connectivity to school children in the mountainous district of Reasi, the Jammu and Kashmir government constructed 69 bridges in the most difficult terrain of the district.
"District Administration has dedicated 69 bridges to public and various schools in Reasi district of J&K which were constructed in a record time of last 9 months", District Development Commissioner (DDC), Reasi, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said today.
The work has been done under a project launched by the DDC, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, involving Forest Department and Rural Development Department with public participation. The project was launched in September 2013 with target of 60 bridges in 2013-14 and 40 in 2014-15.
In remote and inaccessible areas, students of more than 117 odd schools were deprived of education due to flooding of channels during rainy seasons and also the district witnessed loss of 20-30 lives annually involving such accidents, he said.
To address the issue of education deprivation and loss of human and animal lives, a project was designed by the DDC for construction of 100 wooden, hanging and concrete bridges near these schools through public participation and inter-departmental coordination.
The project headed by Dr Choudhary has Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD) Joginder Singh Rai, District Forest Officer (DFO) Reasi, Dr Sayeed Nadeem Hussain, and DFO Mahore, Rafi Ahmed Khan, as other members.
The project teams involved village panchayats in construction and management of assets.
Funds were generated through Corporate Social Responsibility sponsorship by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), and dovetailing of District Innovation Fund operated by DDC, Tribal Sub-Plan, MGNREGA Convergence, Local Area Development Fund, SDRF, Forest Department sponsorship of timber and community resources. Technical assistance was extended Public Works Department and Rural Engineering Wing of RDD.
The bridges spanning 30 feet to 60 feet have been constructed over small rivulets and channels which witness immediate flooding in case of even minor rainfall in large catchment area.
These bridges will serve 126 schools directly and indirectly and facilitate public of 61 villages, he added.
The task of construction of 69 bridges was achieved in a short span of time and Panchayats were actively associated with construction and management of bridges under the project.
DDC dedicated the bridges to public and schools in largely participated functions organised in various panchayats of district.
This is first of its kind project with community participation aimed at addressing the recurrent problem faced by more than 25000 students in district.