BARIPADA: Contrary to the claims of the government, road connectivity and provision of basic amenities elude people in rural areas of the district. With panchayat polls a few days away, these issues are likely to be the deciding factors in the way residents of these villages vote.
Many areas in tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj are bereft of motorable roads, safe drinking water facilities, pucca houses and power supply.
A tube well set up in Baidali village, comprising around 55 families, under Salamunduli panchayat of Udala block has been rendered unfit for public use for a decade now as its water is high in fluoride content. Similar is the plight of around 40 families of Panijia village under Kuliana panchayat as the lone tubewell in the area supplies contaminated water.
Safe drinking water is also a distant dream for villages like Kaptipada, Thakurmunda, Jahsipur, Jamda, Sukrurli, Tiring, Bijatala and those at the foothills of Similipal under Rairangpur, Udala, Karanjia and Baripada sub-divisions.
Around Rs 3,200 crore was sanctioned for five piped water supply projects in 2019, slated to be completed in two years to benefit over 15 lakh people in Angul, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and Bhadrak districts. The project, which also aims to cover Rairangpur and Jashipur, still hangs fire.
Sources said, ambulances are unable to reach the villages due to poor road connectivity and patients being carried on cots to Udala hospital are a common sight in the area. Crores of rupees continue to be sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for the purpose but residents struggle to commute.
Irked by lack of power supply, villagers of Sagarsahi within Kaptipada police limits had staged dharna in November last year but nothing has been done so far though metres have been installed in households since four years.
Contacted, Superintending Engineer Sudip Mishra said, of the 5,30,000 consumers in the district, 44,000 households are yet to get power supply which will be done soon.