RENGALI (SAMBALPUR) : Even as the State Government had set a target to construct 7,000 km rural roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) during 2017-18 at an estimated cost of `1,096 crore, seven villages in Rengali block still lack metalled roads.
Commuters are forced to travel along dusty roads passing through forest to reach their homes. These villages are Karlabudia, Bhursipali, Bhoipali, Tepapada, Aduapada, Bijipali and Chandapada. There are no roads to connect these villages with the block or gram panchayat headquarters, causing inconvenience to the people.
According to villagers, they had approached the authorities on several occasions demanding construction of proper roads. “The officials and elected representatives had been assuring us by saying that the construction of the roads was included in the development plan of the block and would be taken up soon. However, nothing has been done so far,” the villagers said.
Ironically, these villages come under an industrially developed belt. Talabira coal mine here was allotted to Tamil Nadu Government-owned Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC). Sources said the company is supposed to provide funds for the development of the region from its Mineral Development Fund. Besides, there are other industries in the region, including Aditya Aluminium, Bhusan Steeel and Power, Aryan Ispat and Shyam Metalliks.
However, villagers alleged that no development work was undertaken as CSR initiatives. Thus, the area is riddled with problems galore, from drinking water to road connectivity.locals alleged that the CSR funds were being misused and the district administration had remained indifferent to the plights of the people. Contacted, Block Development Officer (BDO) B Lakra said she was aware of the problem and would take steps for development of the roads in these villages.