Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Though the government is spending crores of rupees for the development of border areas in Odisha, many villages in Ganjam district are still deprived of emergency services and basic amenities.

Take the case of Salimagochha gram panchayat under Soroda block in the district. The gram panchayat is located 45 km away from the block. There are 18 villages like Sanagochha, Piridibandha, Salimabochha, Rajipada and Minangi under the gram panchayat with a population of more than 8,000. However, the villagers are reportedly deprived of basic amenities.

The villages do not have mobile network coverage, depriving the residents of essential banking and digital services.

“In this digital era, we are deprived of digital and banking services as we don’t have a mobile tower in our area. We have to travel 40-50 km away to avail the services. We have to climb atop the mountain to communicate through mobile phones in case of medical and other emergencies,” said Balakrushna Mallick, a local resident.

The residents of the gram panchayat also have to suffer a lot as they don’t have proper road communication and medical facilities. The area doesn’t have a primary health centre for the residents of 18 villages. Under such circumstances, the serious patients in the area are left to God’s mercy.

“The villagers have to depend upon the medical which is located 30 km away from the area. Sans a motorable road, the serious patients have to go through ordeal as they can’t be carried to the medical by an ambulance,” rued Rajeeb Mallick, another local resident.

Though the villagers have been demanding proper road facilities, construction of a mobile tower and a primary health centre in the area for a long time, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

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Responding to the demands of the villagers, Bhanjanagar Sub-Collector Anil Kumar Sethy said, “We are aware of the problems and demands of the villagers. Efforts will be made to build a mobile tower and primary health centre in the area soon.”