Monday, 16 April, 2012
Villages epitomise neglect, apathy
ROURKELA: Surrounded by mountains and forests, four inaccessible villages of the Maoist-infested Gurundia block of Sundargarh, paint a sorry picture.
The fruits of development are yet to trickle down to these villages, over 85 km from Rourkela and considered most backward in the district.
�Kunjara, Kelo, Kantamunda and Majuridima villages, spread over a radius of 15 km, do not have roads. Due to this, health, education and drinking water facilities fail to reach the villagers. Poverty alleviation programmes are a mirage. �The villages fall under different gram panchayats (GPs) and people have to trek long distances through risky forest routes to reach GP headquarters.
�Kunjara village is the most inaccessible with its GP headquarter Tamperker located 11 km away, while the distance between Kantamunda and its GP headquarters Sol is 12 km. Similarly, Kelo and Majuridima villages are over 17 km away from the Jarda GP headquarters.
�CPM’s district secretariat member Jadumani Mohapatra said the government should carve out a new GP between these villages to address their problems. He said the villagers have decided to stage a demonstration at the Sundargarh Collectorate on April 19 to highlight their plight.
�Kelo villagers Biswanath Bhukta, Philman Lugun and Augustin Kerketta said the people live in abject penury and are deprived of basic amenities. They alleged that their efforts to draw attention of the administration towards their problems have yielded no response.
�Mohapatra said after a stir last year the road laying work began between Kelo and Majuridima village. But the quality of the road has been sub-standard and there is no provision for rainwater drainage.
�He further alleged that due to lack of monitoring funds had been swindled and poor quality road repair works between the block headquarters of Gurundia and Jarda GP had been continuing for the past four years.