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During monsoons Arunachal villagers rely on timeless bamboo bridges to stay connected with the world

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Representational image. The Pasighat hanging bridge in Arunachal Pradesh (Pic: Courtesy nezine.com)

Showing the spirit of enterprise and determination a community in Arunachal Pradesh took it upon themselves to stay in touch with the outside world, as the National Highway connecting them got washed away in a recent monsoon deluge.

On June 27, the crucial National Highway that linked Siang, West Siang, Shi-Yomi and Upper Siang districts of Arunachal Pradesh with the outside world was washed away due to rains. In order to keep the supply of food and other essential products, the villagers of Rottung carved a three-kilometre long walkway but this was dangerous and importantly took more time.

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The Pasighat highway division personnel said it would take at least fortnight or more to restore the highway.

The period of waiting was rather too long and so Adi community members of Pangin and Kebang circles of Siang district made up their mind to do something about it. And for executing this task, the Lelek Bridge Construction Committee was formed.

Necessary materials like bamboo, stones and steel cables were obtained and men and women literally rolled their sleeves to hard work. With the time-tested method of Adi craftsmanship with bamboo guiding them, in four days flat, the bamboo suspension bridge was ready.

The bridge, which is 30 metres in length, gave immediate relief to the inhabitants of Siang, West Siang, Shi-Yomi and Upper Siang districts.

Talking to News18, Tagum Sitang, the Chairman of the Bridge Construction Committee said: “The bridge will ensure that people now do not need to climb the hill to reach the other side. It will ease the travel time till the permanent solution arrives.”

The State Chief Minister Pema Khandu on coming to know about this great effort on the part of the people, appreciated it. He showcased it as the tenacity and grit of his people in difficult times. “Appreciate community leaders rising to the occasion in response to challenging situations,” his tweet said.

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