Odisha's Deo river with no bridge robs labourers of daily wage

Hundreds of farmers and daily labourers from 13 gram panchayats (GPs) of Nuagaon and adjacent Kuarmunda blocks of Sundargarh district are forced to carry bicycles on shoulders and wade through Deo riv

Published: 18th July 2017 08:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2017 09:35 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

ROURKELA: Hundreds of farmers and daily labourers from 13 gram panchayats (GPs) of Nuagaon and adjacent Kuarmunda blocks of Sundargarh district are forced to carry bicycles on shoulders and wade through Deo river to reach Rourkela for livelihood everyday. With water level of the river rising due to monsoon rain, the labourers are now worried about their daily wages while the proposal to set up a high-level bridge over the river at Lahanda is hanging fire. 

Sources said the Deo river flows from north to south equally dividing 20 panchayats of the agriculturally rich Nuagaon block before it meets Koel river at Mitkundri. With no alternative route, a vast rural population from 13 panchayats of Nuagaon and adjacent Kuarmunda blocks perennially faces communication woes and the situation aggravates during monsoon. 

Villagers cross Deo river carrying
bicycles | Express


Former ZP member of Nuagaon Papu Sahu said last year, the Koel bridge at Mitkundri was inaugurated to link 10 panchayats of Nuagaon with Rourkela city. But the Deo river flowing just 500 metres from Mitkundri prevented villagers of rest 10 panchayats and three GPs of Kuarmunda block from the benefit of Koel bridge. The affected GPs include Ankurpali, Kanderkela, Menmena, Kokerama, Purunapani, Hathibari, Kardega and Baunsjhor of Nuagaon and Jharbera, Kacharu and Pasara of Kuarmunda block. 

Sahu said the villagers of affected areas are either forced to travel extra miles via Kuarmunda and Vedvyas to reach Rourkela or use bamboo bridges in dry season or avail risky ferry service in monsoon. Last year, ferry services were erratic and this year too, there is little hope of availability of the service as stringent safety norms have been set for boat owners, he added.

A daily labourer, Shibu Dang, who works at the Steel City, said during monsoon, they pay `10-15 per head with bicycle to cross the river. With the river gradually flowing high, he fears of losing daily earning as there is no certainty of boat services this time. A bridge over the river is urgently required to mitigate the hardship of villagers and boost agriculture economy, he added.. 

Though construction work on a high-level bridge at Lankoi-Khutgaon under Biju Setu Yojana (BSY) at a cost of ` six crore is underway, it would only connect some GPs of Nuagaon block. Executive Engineer of Rural Development Department KK Mishra said an estimate of `8.5 crore has been prepared for the proposed HL bridge over river Deo at Lahanda under BSY and hoped to get approval shortly. 

Stay up to date on all the latest Odisha news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp