Monday 30 June 2008

Villagers Stranded Due to Concrete Walls

Shankar MahadevanThe villagers of Karalewadi, Mandawane, Bhiwapuri, Hedavali, Ambewadi and Phanaswadi are stranded due to the bridge that joined their villages to the Karjat city collapsed. The reason behind the bridge collapse is blamed on singer Shankar Mahadevan.

According to the villagers construction on Mahadevan's farmhouse, spread over 2.5 acres near Karalewadi, was given by the local gram panchayat six months ago, and construction work began three months ago. They allege that the 13-foot-wide and 50-foot-long bridge fell down due to the construction work on an illegal compound wall at Mahadevan's farmhouse located close to the bridge.

Bridge to Karjat Brooken alongside Mahadevan's wallAccording to Santosh Bhopee, sarpanch, Karalewadi, said, “The panchayat had only allowed construction of a bungalow. Mahadevan, had not taken permission to construct a compound wall. The contractor used JCB cranes to dig up soft soil near the stream that runs beneath the bridge to create a foundation for a 12-foot high wall. It weakened the foundation of the bridge. leading to its collapse."

The villagers in Karjat find that concrete walls built by farm owners create problems as during the monsoons they do not allow the natural flow of water and tend to cause entire villages being flooded. The villagers request farm house owners to not build walls but to fence their farms instead so they can avoid their villages from flooding.

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