Yeulkhed is a hamlet with around 950 people, located at Shegaon taluk. Over 70 per cent of its population are small farmers cultivating crops on their agricultural land across a stream called Unaad naala.
For over three decades the villagers were riding their bullock carts over a rugged, kutcha “bridge” to cross the stream. Now, with the intervention of RC Shegaon, RID 3030, a new, pucca bridge has been laid, making the journey easier for the villagers.
“When we first visited the hamlet last year we found farmers driving their bullock carts, carrying their farm equipment, over this makeshift bridge. They said that years of representation to the government for a decent bridge has fallen on deaf ears, and that they have got used to the craggy structure which caused fractures for the bullocks and damaged the carts, and the older people found it extremely difficult to walk over it,” said the club’s IPP Anirudh Paldiwal. During monsoons the bridge became unusable and the farmers had to let their crops rot and suffered huge losses.
The club led by Paldiwal decided to construct a decent bridge over the stream. PDG Mahesh Mokalkar extended the technical support. The construction cost, ₹3.5 lakh, was borne by Muktilal Paldiwal (Anirudh’s grandfather) who is based at Shegaon. Work began in May and the new bridge was inaugurated on June 10 by DGE Anand Jhunjhunwala.
Explaining about its construction Anirudh Paldiwal said that it was a 25 by 20 feet low-cost bridge constructed with cement pipes as base. The area was first dug up. The excavated material, along with some boulders, was used to form an 8-inch base layer. Six huge cement pipes were placed and secured with couplings. C-shaped walls were constructed on both ends. The entire structure was strongly cemented and the bridge was good to go.
“The villagers enthusiastically helped in the construction and were extremely happy to see the end result. The structure will last for at least 15 years. They can run their bullock carts and tractors comfortably on it now,” said Paldiwal.