10,000 villages in Odisha still don’t have roads!

Bhubaneswar: People often use the phrase ‘log chand pe pahunch gaye…’ (people have landed on moon…). The irony in the phrase cannot be starker when used in parlance of 10,000 villages of Odisha which still don’t have roads.

Excuses are often made – like no clearance from Forest department – but reality excuses itself as lack of political will and corruption have potholed development.

Cases of women giving birth on roadside, patients being carried on cot due to lack of motorable roads have become a common phenomenon in the State. Despite several Central and State programmes, still 10,000 villages?!

As per the action plan of the State Rural Development department, 10,000 villages are yet to be connected with proper roads even though they could have been included under schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and Mukhya Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (MMGSY).

Chief Engineer of PMGSY, Biranchi Narayan Mishra informed that while 379 villages in the State have no roads, 290 villages have been included under PMGSY for road construction.

Besides, 89 villages on the bordering areas have been included under the central scheme, he said.

“There is no cash crunch. There are central and state schemes, but villages are yet to have roads. Why are the announced schemes not getting implemented?” questioned Prabhati Parida, president of Odisha BJP Mahila Morcha.

“People are suffering due to lack of roads. At time of urgency, people are unable to even reach hospitals. It exposes the seriousness of the government towards the interests of the people,” said former Odisha Congress chief, Jaydev Jena.

However, BJD spokesperson Sameer Das said that 95 per cent of road problem in the State has been resolved. “There are problems at some places and the State government is working on them,” said Das.