Poll politics on top gear as basic facilities take back seat
Setting eyes on 2019 general elections, political parties have launched an aggressive campaign to expand vote base in the district which, ironically, is yet to see the development promised by the parties during the last polls three years back.
DHENKANAL:Setting eyes on 2019 general elections, political parties have launched an aggressive campaign to expand vote base in the district which, ironically, is yet to see the development promised by the parties during the last polls three years back.
In the last some days, the district has witnessed an unprecedented number of meetings and rallies by the ruling BJD to lure youths and new voters into the party fold. The BJP, rejuvenated by its impressive show in the last panchayat polls, has also chalked out strategies to strengthen its vote bank.
Despite all the politics, development in several areas of the district has been put on the back burner. Kankadahada, a tribal dominated block under Parjang Assembly segment, has several villages which still lack all-weather road. Some even don’t have road connectivity at all.
There is no road from Ranibole village to Gadapasuni of Dasipur gram panchayat. The only kutcha road which connects both the villages turns muddy and slippery during rainy season. Over 15,000 people use this route on a regular basis. Similarly, there is no road from Pathargada to Pakatmunda village in Bam panchayat.
Health, sanitation, education and connectivity are in disarray in villages like Ekul, Sekul and Kourt. Though the tribals have lodged complaints with the grievance cells of both the Collector and the BDO in the last five years, all their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
These villages also lack proper roads. The villagers alleged that women prefer home delivery due to absence of roads. Though many infants and pregnant women have died due to this problem, such cases often go unrecorded, they claimed.
Similar is the situation in villages of Hindol and Parjang blocks.In Dhenkanal Sadar block, people of Bijipur and Hundi Sahi villages, located 8 to 10 km from the district headquarters, submitted a memorandum to the Collector recently and threatened to take to streets if roads are not provided soon.
Moreover, the district headquarters hospital is also in a state of disarray. It recently hogged headlines after hospital staff demanded bribe from a patient to provide medical services. There have also been frequent reports of infant deaths in the hospital.
Though Dhenkanal town is expanding rapidly, there is no town bus facility. Frequent transfer of executive officers, too much politics and rampant corruption have disrupted development works in the municipality, sources said.
Collector Bhupendra Singh Punia said the district administration has sent a proposal to the Government for all-weather road connectivity in Ekul, Sekul and nearby villages.
Kankadahada BDO Jyotisankar Sahoo said, ‘’We are trying for convergence of schemes with MGNERGA for road construction.’’