RAYAGADA: WITH the administration turning a blind eye to their monsoon woes, people of three villages under Rayagada block pooled money to buy a motorboat.
The boat bought at Rs 1.5 lakh now serves as a lifeline for the people of Anija, Ampulvalasha and Bore Halwa villages, who used to be cut off from mainland during monsoon.While a permanent bridge for connectivity to these villages remains a far cry, villagers contributed towards procuring a motor boat to facilitate communication between the villages and block headquarters.
When the villages are cut off from the mainland, the villagers are deprived of healthcare for a period of four months. Students, too, fail to go to schools. As the district administration failed to address these basic grievances, people of the affected villages have taken matters to their own hands and set an example of civic participation. They collected Rs 1.5 lakh to buy the motor boat and according to sources, they have started using it to avail essential services without waiting for the district administration’s permission. “Every year, crores of rupees are sanctioned for development works. But our plight remains unaddressed for decades now. Collecting money and buying a motor boat was our last resort,” alleged a villager.
Last month, in a similar act of public participation in the face of the administration’s apathy, villagers of Tala Sajja and Uppara Sajja under Kalyansinghpur block had constructed a wooden suspension bridge to cross the swollen Nagavali.