Adimali: Onlookers are frightened at the sight of people crossing the dam in a fibre boat from Kallarkutty to Naykunnu. When the journey is made by children, their hearts skip a beat.

Even though the Mankadavu and Naykunnu natives are aware of the danger lurking behind the journey, they are left with no other option.

Decades have passed since the natives of Mankadavu and Naykunnu started crossing the dam in this manner.

Children going to Naykunnu after school. Photo: PP Ratheesh

The Kallarkutty dam connects the 14th and 12th wards of Vellathooval panchayat and the residents have been using the fiber boat supplied by the panchayat for the past several years.

The natives have tied a rope to connect both banks.  To reach the other bank, people have to pull the rope after sitting in the boat. There is no oarsman or helper in the boat.

Students of Naykunnu are using these boats and the children have to learn how to pull the rope even before they start to attend first standard in school.

The authorities had made an estimate to build a bridge at this place years ago. However, the plan did not materialise.

If the road is used to go to Naykunnu from Pallipady in Kallarkunnu, people will have to walk an additional three kilometres. Hence, people including children are undertaking the boat journey.

The fibre boat provided by the panchayat is too old, rue the locals.