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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Residents of Ghanipur Gram Panchayat under Delanga block in Puri district have warned to boycott the ensuing bypoll to the Pipili Assembly constituency in protest against the incomplete work of a bridge.

Villagers of the area claim that in the absence of a long-demanded bridge to their area across the river, boat has become the only source of connection for them with the outside world. During the rainy season, when the river gets in spate, they become even more alienated from the mainstream.

“Construction of a bridge, which will connect our village to the main land, was commenced almost eight years ago. However, the work has reached a dead end and the bridge is still half built,” alleged a villager.

According to reports, while the Gram Panchayat (GP) headquarters is situated on one side of the river, several other villages of the GP flank the other side. Under such a scenario, people have to more often cross the river even for their daily activities and livelihood.

“In case of medical emergency, an ambulance can’t reach our village and we have to ferry serious patients with the help of boats to the other side for treatment and this deters our access to hassle-free healthcare delivery,” narrated another villager.

“Every time during the election, leaders of different political parties come to our village with their supporters to beg votes. They all assure us for the completion of the bridge. But after the elections they forget their promises,” he alleged.

“We are living in this miserable condition for many generations but we see how our nearby regions and outside are developing. We will not tolerate this apathy and so have decided to boycott the election this time in protest,” the protester added.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)


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