Bridge of death cries for new lease of life

Story and pix by Hiran Priyankara Jayasingha

The bridge across Kala Oya near Eluwankulama Navy camp in the Puttalam District is in need of urgent repairs, villagers say.This 200-metre-long-and-10-foot-wide bridge goes under water during heavy rains, making vehicular movements impossible. The villagers also claim that the bridge gets slippery due to moss that gathers on the bridge and several people and motorcyclists have skidded and fallen into the river. The bridge is now a death trap, they say.

Wildlife officials at Eluwankulama say that during rainy days they are forced to take this slippery bridge on their way to Vanathawilluwa regional office which is located on the other side of the bridge.

M.A. Kamardeen, a resident from the area said the bridge offered a shortcut to Jaffna and Mannar. It took less time to reach Jaffna or Mannar along this route than the Puttalam-Mannar main road, he said.

Puttalam’s District Secretary Kingsley Fernando told the Sunday Times steps are being taken to renovate the bridge. But he could not tell us when the repair work would begin and when would it end.

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