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Villagers build bridge for SSB troops near UP-Nepal border

Villagers build bridge for SSB troops near UP-Nepal border

<p id="content">A group of villagers in Pilibhit have built a bamboo bridge for the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) troopers, about 200 metres from the Uttar Pradesh-Nepal border.</p>
The 25-metre-long and 1.2-metre-wide bamboo bridge on a deep-water channel has been built by the Bamanpur Bhagirath village head, Gurdev Singh, with assistance from the locals.

Ajay Kumar, Commandant, SSB's 49th Battalion, said: "A bridge was urgently needed for the frequent, prompt and unhindered movement of SSB patrolling pickets, especially during the night.

"The bridge will assist us in keeping an eye on any encroachment from the Nepalese side into the Indian territory as was reported in June this year."

He added that his Nepalese counterpart from the Armed Police Force (APF) had given consent for the construction before the work started.

The construction of the bridge was initiated on September 10 and it was completed in just five days at a cost of merely Rs 50,000 on the water channel known as Sutia drain.

As the village panchayat had no provision for the construction, the locals were encouraged to contribute.

The money was contributed by villagers. The bridge holds importance as it provides a vantage point to the troopers patrolling the border, and particularly after a row over the construction of a road between pillars 38 and 39 by the Nepalese side.

The road construction work was, however, halted after Indian authorities took up the matter with their Nepalese counterparts, but the SSB is keeping a tight vigil to ensure the construction work does not resume in any manner.

"The road construction work was suspended till the time joint survey teams of the two countries demarcate the territories. Till then, we have to ensure that no violation of the status quo takes place. Thus, the bamboo bridge will prove advantageous to us in serving our objective," said Kumar.

Puranpur block development officer Neeraj Dube said: "The bridge was built by village head Gurdev Singh for the SSB's 49th Battalion, but it would also facilitate village farmers to have easy access to their farms – around 75 to 80 acres – situated close to the porous border on the other side of the drain.".