Facing lack of basic infrastructure, villagers threaten poll boycott in Gajapati

Paralakhemundi: In the absence of basic facilities like drinking water, electricity, roads and schools, villagers residing in remote areas of the State continue to face hardship.

In Badaanja village of Rayagada block of Gajapati district, things are no different where locals are a distressed lot and have threatened to boycott the upcoming general elections if the issues are not resolved soon.

Located in a hilly terrain in Santuni panchayat, Badaanja has stone paved roads because of which ambulance fails to reach the village. Patients and pregnant women of the village have to be carried in slings to the hospital, sources said.

Villagers allege that despite repeated complaints lodged before the local administration, no action has been taken yet.

“There is lack of roads, electricity and drinking water. We have to carry pregnant women and patients in slings as ambulance drivers deny to come to the village due to absence of motorable roads,” said Sanyasi Bhuyan, a resident of Badaanja.

Another local resident Moringa Bhuyan said, “The administration has been promising roads, but they are yet to be built.”

While electric meters have been installed in houses, electricity is yet to be supplied. Children in the village have to walk for five kilometres to reach nearby school in Champapur village, sources said.

“We are facing all these issues for long now. We are going to boycott upcoming elections if our issues are not resolved,” said Anjana Gamang, another resident of Badaanja.

After being informed about the problems faced by the villagers, the Additional Collector of Gajapati district, Laxmikanta Sethi said, “As the area is a mountainous region, trucks and tractors are not able to transport materials to the village. We will try to resolve the issue soon and build the roads as soon as possible. We are ready to supply electricity but will punish those who misuse it.”