Poonam Singh

Residents at Badapur village in Purunapani Panchayat under R.Udyagiri block of Gajapati district are miffed with political leaders and elections as their long-standing basic issues have remained unresolved over the decades.

According to sources, the construction of a bridge over the Ghodahada river has been a long-standing demand of the village since ages. The villagers use a makeshift bridge for crossing the river to go to schools, hospitals, Panchayat office and for their day-to-day needs.

They are in constant fear while crossing the bridge as the river is infested with crocodiles. Crossing the bridge for the children and elderly is a tough job, said the irked villagers.

In the absence of a proper concrete bridge, the villagers are forced to risk their lives daily while crossing the Ghodahada river on the rickety bamboo structure. Their repeated requests to the concerned authorities in the past 40-35 years seem to have fallen on deaf ears only.

"When elections come, leaders make a beeline with a bouquet of promises. But once elections are over, they are nowhere to be seen while their promises about the development of our village go down the drains. Our miseries never end," said a resident of Badapur village.

"From Sarpanch to government officials, we met all. But no one seems to be concerned about our plight," said another villager.

Notably, the villagers construct the makeshift four -three times a year on their own expenditure to facilitate movement to the outside world.

Another villager said that the people of the village were tired of hearing false promises and assurances made by the people's representatives since decades.

Meanwhile, the local Sarpanch and other government officials were unavailable for comment.