Sans bridge, villagers use ‘banana rafts’ to cross river in Odisha's Balikuda

A similar situation is also faced by locals of Barilo village who depend on banana rafts to ferry themselves to the cremation ground on the other side of the river.

Published: 28th September 2022 06:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2022 08:52 AM   |  A+A-

School students crossing Alaka river on a raft in Balikuda block | Express

School students crossing Alaka river on a raft in Balikuda block | Express

By Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR: Residents of Rambila and Barilo villages under Balikuda block, in the absence of a bridge, risk their lives to cross Alaka river by using banana rafts just to reach their panchayat headquarters.
Rambila is just 2 km away from panchayat headquarters of Titira but there is no concrete road for commute. A similar situation is also faced by locals of Barilo village who depend on banana rafts to ferry themselves to the cremation ground on the other side of the river.

“My father died recently and we had to carry his body to the burial ground through the river via a banana raft. There are many like me who face this problem on a regular basis,” said a local from Barilo village, Jahangir Khan. Barilo is part of Borikina panchayat.

Villagers of Rambila too face the same ordeal. “School-going children and patients need to be ferried across the river on a regular basis. Since the administration has so far done nothing to construct a bridge, we are forced to use rafts although its risky,” said Birana village chief of Bansidhar Dash.

Sarpanch of Titira Prasanti Manjari Nayak said people have sought the intervention of local tehsildar for the erection of a bridge on the Alaka river as their is no road to our village.  The matter was taken to the administration but to no avail. “Besides school-going children, farmers including women who intend to sell their produce cross the river using rafts.

We had even appealed to the Water resources minister Raghunandan Das, also local legislator, last year to at least construct a footway bridge but our pleas went unheard,” said former sarpanch of Borikina Sadhu Charan Sahoo. Balikuda block development officer (BDO) Jitendra Nayak was not available to comment on the matter.



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