Pradeep Pattanayak

Development has been a mirage for the villagers of Bondal under the Tangi-Choudwar block of Cuttack district. 

Only 20 kilometres away from a town, Bondal village is inhabited by some 80 families. For the villagers, basic amenities are a distant dream, let alone the government schemes that seem to have made a detour to the village. 

With no motorable road, an ambulance can’t come to the village. Shifting a patient or a woman in labour to the hospital is always a herculean task for the villagers. There are instances when serious patients were shifted on motorcycles. 

About the drinking water facility, the least said the better. There is only one tube well in the village to meet the requirements of 80 families, forcing villagers to use water from a pond. 

The wait for a pucca house seems unending.  Hema Mallick and Sanatan Mallick are two eligible beneficiaries for a pucca house but they are yet to receive them. For a house, they have requested administrative officials to the local MLA, but to no avail. In 2020, Sanatan Mallick received the work order for his house. Meanwhile, four years have passed, and nothing has progressed. 

The villagers’ pent-up anger may find an outlet this election as they are determined to boycott polls. 

“Six to seven years have passed since Cyclone Fani pulled down my house. I am still living in a dilapidated house. Is this the real picture of development?” rued Sanatan. 

Also Read: 'No bridges, no roads, no votes’: Fumed electorate in Sambalpur, Balasore vow poll boycott  

“In the absence of a road, neither ambulance nor fire tenders can reach our village. We experience a lot of difficulties when we have to shift a patient to hospital or when a house catches fire,” said Abhisekh Mallick, a villager. 

“When the election comes, leaders make a beeline with a list of promises. But after the election, they forget us. This time, we won’t cast votes,” said Mitu Mallick, a villager. 

When contacted, Tangi-Choudwar BDO Hemanta Kumar Mohanta said, “After an enquiry, we will take appropriate steps.”

  • Reported by:
  • Prakash Nayak