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Determined Villagers in Bihar Attempt to Change River Course to Save Their Village

tanzil asif Reported By Tanzil Asif |
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In a remarkable display of determination and resilience, the residents of a village in north Bihar’s Purnea district have embarked on a challenging mission to change the course of a river. Inspired by the legendary Dashrath Manjhi, who famously carved a road through a mountain, these villagers are armed with spades and a shared vision to alter the fate of their community.

Negligence and the River’s Wrath

The construction of a 265.44-meter long bridge over the Kankai river in Amour block of Purnea district was approved in 2012-13. However, due to government negligence and contractor arbitrariness, the completion of the project was delayed. As a result, the river destroyed numerous houses, causing distress to several families.

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Incomplete Bridge Leaves Villagers Stranded as River Changes Course

Previous Attempts and Devastating Consequences

Despite multiple pleas, the designated pillars of the bridge were erected, but the crucial approach road remained unfinished, leaving the bridge disconnected. Over time, the river’s course began to change, and it currently flows away from the under-construction bridge, posing a threat to nearby villages. In 2017, a devastating flood exacerbated the situation, leading the Kankai river to alter its course even further.

Persistent Efforts to Divert the River

To counter the imminent danger of erosion and safeguard their village, the villagers have taken matters into their own hands. Determined to redirect the river’s flow, they have been tirelessly digging the earth for days. Fully aware of the challenging nature of their task, these villagers aim to grab the government’s attention and prompt action to bring the river back underneath the bridge.

Bridge Extension Plans Spark Controversy

While the Bihar government has proposed extending the under-construction bridge by 331.40 meters, adding 115.70 meters towards the west and 215.70 meters towards the east, not everyone supports this plan. Dilnawaz, a youth from the village, believes that changing the course of the river and redirecting it underneath the bridge would be a more effective solution. He fears that increasing the number of pillars in the bridge could negatively impact numerous villages and their inhabitants.

Plea to Protect Villages and Population

The plight of the villagers and their valiant efforts to divert the river have raised concerns about the government’s inaction. With two Lok Sabha elections and two Vidhan Sabha elections passing since the bridge’s construction commenced, the bridge remains a distant dream for the people of Amour. Local leaders and residents alike are urging the government to address the pressing issue promptly, emphasizing the potential devastation that could occur if timely action is not taken.

Villagers bringing river under Khari Pul

In their demonstration, the villagers hope to bring attention to their predicament and inspire the Bihar government to prioritize the realignment of the river’s course. Despite knowing the challenges they face, these determined individuals persist in their mission, fueled by the belief that with unwavering dedication, the impossible may become possible.

The plight of these villagers serves as a poignant reminder of the strength and resilience of ordinary people when faced with extraordinary circumstances.

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Tanzil Asif is a multimedia journalist-cum-entrepreneur. He is the founder and the CEO of Main Media. He occasionally writes stories from Seemanchal for other publications as well. Hence, he has bylines in The Wire, The Quint, Outlook Magazine, Two Circles, the Milli Gazette etc. Tanzil is one of six Indian journalists selected by YouTube in 2021 for its Creator Program for Independent Journalists. He is also a Josh Talks speaker, an Engineer and a part-time poet.

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