People risk lives to cross Kolab reservoir in Koraput: A ground report

Koraput: For the people living in the vicinity of Kolab reservoir, country boats are the only lifeline. Every day they risk their lives to cross the reservoir in the absence of proper transporting facilities.

Nearly, 25,000 to 30,000 people in the cut-off areas in four panchayats have to depend on such country boats to visit important places including banks, hospital and tehsil office.

Lamtaput is located on one bank of Sindupit river while the four panchayats are on the other side. Hence, people have no other options than covering the journey in such dangerous conditions.

“The government has not provided any facility to us. More than 200 two-wheelers are also transported from one place to other on boats every day,” said Dayanidhi Majhi, a local resident.

Though there is road connecting Lamtaput to the other panchayats, people prefer to travel via country boats as it saves a lot of time.

“Bridge is a distant dream for us. We don’t even have enough number of boats to ferry people and other items. Every year, several lives are lost in boat mishaps here,” said Sarpanch of Tikarpada gram panchayat, Dhanirya Badnayak.

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Despite repeated complaints, the administration is yet to take concrete measures for the construction of a permanent bridge, local residents alleged.

Koraput district collector, Sudarshan Chakraborty on the other hand said that fiber boats will soon be provided on both sides of the reservoir.

“We have asked the government to float the tender for the construction work of a permanent bridge,” said Chakraborty.