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Pradeep Singh

Nuapada: At a time when those residing in the bordering areas of Koraput and Gajapati are reportedly leaning towards the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh for various reasons, residents of Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary in Nuapada district have decided to leave Odisha alleging sheer apathy of the State government towards their issues.

People living near the Sanctuary alleged that they are deprived of basic amenities, which are non-negotiable conditions for living, in spite of repeated requests made to the concerned authorities for the last several decades.

People of Sunabeda and Soseng panchayat have reportedly taken the decision to leave the State and become a part of Chhattisgarh if their long-standing demands are not resolved by the Odisha government at the earliest.

The locals alleged that basic amenities like roads, education, healthcare and drinking water are still a day dream for them. The residents further stated that for the development of the region, they will have to become a part of the negihbouring Chhattisgarh.

"We are deprived of our basic rights. The government has been making excuses stating that no roads can be built here as it comes under the Sanctuary area. We are treated as humans before every elections but after the polls are over, they (government) treat us like animals," rued Bijay Jhakar of Sunabeda.

"We have unanimously decided to leave Odisha if the State government fails to provide us our basic rights," Jhakar added.

Sunabeda panchayat sarpanch Tilsingh Jhakkar said, "Even after 70 years of independence, we are deprived of basic facilities. In a meeting attended by people of both the panchayats (Sunabeda and Soseng), we took the decision to leave Odisha to get basic amenities that are essential foundation for a decent living."

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