Angul: From students crossing canals by risking lives to get to their schools to people carrying patients on cots are regular scenes of many villages under the Pallahara block in the district. Though Odisha government recently announced a package of Rs 6.70 crore for the block under its 'Ama Gaon Ama Vikash Yojana', locals here alleged that the scheme has failed in their region.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday addressed a public gathering (through video conferencing) at Pallahara block and announced Rs 6.70 crore towards as many as 275 projects. However, locals alleged that the CM's move is politically motivated and an attempt to win people's trust ahead of the general elections in 2019.
"The government's ‘Ama Gaon Ama Vikash Yojana’ is a myth for our village which is yet to get a road and Anganwadi centre. In the name of education, we have a primary school with no teachers," alleged a resident of Balunga village of the block, Ahaliya Mahant.
"A plethora of problems has plagued our villages. The State government's ‘Ama Gaon Ama Vikash Yojana’ is a total failure in our village rather the announcements have been made eyeing the ensuing polls," rued a local, Khageswar Mahant.
[caption id="attachment_311324" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Unique form of protest: Alleging Odisha govt's apathy towards their problems, women of Sigada panchayat in the block started growing paddy on road[/caption]
"All the roads in our village are in worst conditions. We are afraid of sending our children to schools as they have to pass through roads with knee-deep mud. We also face problems in taking patients to hospitals," lamented another local, Kailash Mohanty.
On the other hand, Angul Collector Anil Kumar Samal said that CM Naveen has announced the package for the development of the villages under 27 panchayats in the block.
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"The CM has also directed to ensure quality work and completion of all the projects in time-bound manner. Construction of roads, availability of doctors and drinking water facilities will be our top priorities for the region," Samal added.