Tucked away in a remote corner of the district, Kunjakalika under Chandabali block here tells a sad story of administration neglect.
Surrounded by nullahs and ‘joras’ of the Baitarani river, the village with Scheduled Caste inhabitants remains out of bounds with the lone bridge built by the villagers sinking during the rainy season. While district officials seldom call on the villagers, the politicians make a quick visit during the polls.
The temporary bamboo bridge built over the Kaodia ‘jora’ is rendered useless when the river is in spate. “We remain cut off from the rest of the world for at least four months,” claimed a villager, Biswanatha Das, adding that they are forced to stock all grocery, including kerosene.
The little said about the roads in the villages, the better. But the problem is not limited to communication facilities.
The anganwadi centre has no building of its own and the 35 children are imparted lessons either on a verandah of a house or under the open sky, said an anganwadi worker, Kunjalata Das.
Similarly, the two teachers posted at the primary school here are seldom present. “The school remains closed during rains,” said Sanjaya Das, a member of the school management committee.
The villagers too have to deal with water crisis with a lone tube-well which fails to cater to the needs of 400 inhabitants.
Besides, the tube-well remains defunct most of the time and the villagers are forced to use the pond water for household chores, including drinking purpose.
While agriculture is the mainstay of the village economy, the area is rain-fed with no irrigation facilities.
Though electricity has reached the village under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana, 35 BPL families are yet to avail of the scheme. “Low voltage and frequent disruptions are the order of the day and the families with power connection rarely get to enjoy the facility,” said Sudarsana Das, a beneficiary.
Kerosene, extensively used by the villagers, is purchased in black market as the public distribution system is irregular here.
BDO Devi Prasad Mohanty attributed the backwardness of the village to lack of communication.
“It is for the Irrigation Department to construct a bridge over the Kaudia jora,” he said, adding that steps are taken to solve other problems.