Army’s Independence Day Gift | 115-feet bridge dedicated to Machil residents

Army’s Independence Day Gift | 115-feet bridge dedicated to Machil residents

Kupwara, Aug 15: Army on Tuesday gave an Independence Day gift to the residents of Danna hamlet, the last village on the Line of Control (LoC) in Machil sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, by dedicating a bridge to the locals.

The 115-feet bridge across MachilNallah has been named as Bhagat Bridge in memory of Late Major Bhagat Singh, Veer Chakra, who was killed in the line of duty while defending the Machil sector in the 1965 war.

The event was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony signifying the bridge’s official opening for use by the villagers.

Local MianGul Khan, a ninety-year-old 1971 war veteran cut the ribbon in presence of the Army and other local dignitaries.

An Army official said that this bridge was constructed with painstaking efforts of the Indian Army engineers who persistently toiled for two months in spite of incessant rains and adverse conditions to provide succour to the locals from the difficulties related to lack of road and bridge across MachilNala.

“This bridge stands testament to the Army’s commitment to the people of J&K be it defending the borders or supporting them towards building a prosperous and peaceful Kashmir,” he said.

The bridge would benefit hundreds of people of seven villages.

The people who had arrived at the inaugural ceremony thanked the Army for this people-friendly initiative.

“With the construction of this bridge, our hardships have certainly lessened. Earlier, we had to shoulder patients on makeshift cots at the time of any medical emergency. Due to non-availability of a bridge on MachilNalla, vehicles would never reach our village but the scenario has changed with the construction of this bridge,” a local said.

He said that during inclement weather, the increased water level used to be a setback for the students of Danna village, as they could not cross the Nallah.

Their parents would prefer to keep them at home and allow them to attend school only after the water level would recede.

The residents said that now tourists visiting the Machil sector can have a first hand experience of this last village along the LoC.

“Earlier tourists used to leave without visiting our village but with this bridge, we hope tourists will visit our village and locals can earn their livelihood,” Muhammad Jamal, another resident said. “On this special occasion of 77th Independence Day, the dedication of this bridge is indeed a great gift to the residents of Machil sector.”

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