Derabassi: The temporary wooden bridge on Ghaggar river near Tiwana village, three kms from Lalru, is not only an example of desi civil engineering but also proving a blessing for the dozens of villages across the river. Though the bridge, being constructed yearly without any government funds, gets washed away each year in water during rainy season, but it has never dampened the remarkable courage of the carpenter who has been instrumental in constructing it for the last twelve years.
Fifty-five-year-old carpenter Harnek Singh has been doing a remarkable job by constructing this wooden bridge. People of over two dozen villages across the river use the bridge, every year, with his endeavours. Despite any railing facility, pedestrians and two-wheeler riders can easily use this bridge. Earlier, they had to take the risk of crossing the cold and deep waters bare-foot with the each other’s help. Besides cutting short expenditure and inconvenience of these villagers, the bridge has also cut short the distance between Ambala-Chandigarh highway and NH-1 GT road by 15 to 20 kms through link roads.
Around 15 years ago, the governemnt had approved a bridge at Tiwana, but after digging a well on Banur side on the river bank, the project was dumped by the government. Harnek Singh said the government had never provided any help to ease the problem of villagers. He used to construct the bridge every year with the help of villagers and a few panchayats. By using his experience and civil engineering skills, he used to complete construction work in nearly two weeks with the help of wooden logs, nails and ropes. He had erected four wooden logs, 10 feet deep into the bottom surface of the river and covered it, before pouring sand-filled plastic bags to use them as pillars. The wooden bridge on Ghaggar river near Tiwana, has come as blessing for commuters. Carpenter Harnek Singh (below), has shown his civil engineering skills twelve times by constructing this bridge. DP
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