Even as the district administration and the Balimela dam project officials held a meeting on Monday on resuming the motor launch service in Malkangiri’s cut-off region, they could not take a decision.
After the launch service was suspended, 151 revenue villages in seven gram panchayats of cut-off region have been affected for the last six days.
Motor launch, the only transport facility for the people to have link with the outside world, was stopped following a Maoist threat on Wednesday in last week.
Sources said as the administration is apprehensive of Maoist attacks following killing of Maoist leader Madhab, a final decision on motor launch services has not been taken.
Six launches were provided by Irrigation Department to ferry the villagers to cut off areas of Chitrakonda located across the sprawling reservoir, about 60 km from here. Lack of launch service has affected the health services and transportation of essential commodities to cut-off villages.
Sources said suspected Maoists appeared at the launch ghat on Tuesday night and asked locals to inform the operators not to ply the launches. They threatened the operators of dire consequences if they defied the ‘diktat’. They also asked all the Government employees deployed in the cut-off region including teachers to suspend work with immediate effect.
The reason behind the ‘diktat’, though, is yet to be ascertained. Sources said it may be a ploy of Maoists to detach tribals in the cut-off area from administration.
The cut-off region was created due to construction of two major reservoirs at Machhkund in 1960s and Balimela in 1980s.
The region has turned a safe heaven for the Maoists over the years. Absence of road communication and little presence of Government machinery have made it easy for the Maoists to run their network from there.