Rural Foot Bridge

Rural foot bridges have been constructed for connectivity over streams and rivers in the rural areas where the road network has not yet reached. Depending on the span to be covered different types of bridges are provided such as steel foot bridges, reinforced concrete foot bridges and suspension foot bridges. The bridges are proposed as per the need and requisite demands of the local public and the respective representatives of the areas so that the construction of the same may benefit the local public, farmers and school going children.
Rural connectivity is very essential as these links the villagers to towns, districts, hospitals, schools, other villages and nodal/facility centers. It also plays a very important part in improving the rural economy as the villagers can bring their produce from their fields for sale to the market. These bridges are especially required during the monsoon season when the streams and rivers have extremely high discharge and even the smallest of the streams is risky to cross particularly by the school going children. Remote villages nestled in the far flung areas of the State which still remain unconnected to the proper transport communication network are provided with foot bridges under this programme.
All the essential commodities including building materials and cash crops like cardamom, ginger, oranges, local handicrafts, packed agri-products and other goods, etc can be hauled at ease. Tourism industry can also flourish which will enhance the revenue of these remote villages, thus uplifting the socio-economic status of the rural mass.
In addition to providing new bridges emphasis also has to be given to the repair and strengthening of existing bridges which are being used by the villagers. Many of the bridges have been constructed ages ago and urgently require repair work. Moreover many of the already constructed bridges gets washed away or is heavily damaged during the monsoon season and hence needs to be re-constructed so that the day- to –day life of the villagers are not affected. It may also be noted that the repair/strengthening of the already existing bridges is also of vital importance as earlier suspension bridges used to be provided with wooden decking which invariably gets damaged/worn out due to rotting of the wood and continuous wear and tear and many untoward incidents have also occurred because of this. Moreover the bridges are exposed to all types of weather elements throughout the year which affects the various components of the bridge and the steel components which have outlived its utility and life span also needs to be replaced.
During the year 2015-16 no new bridges were taken up. Under Non-plan fund, two Suspension Foot Bridges in East Sikkim were repaired.