Commuting a nightmare in island villages of Kendrapara

Kendrapara: Thirteen villages located on the Luna-Karandia island in this district are plagued by a host of problems, the major one being lack of proper roads.

The villagers have several times taken up these issues with the administration, but to no avail. The 13 villages come under three blocks – Marshaghai, Garadpur and Derabish. The villages are locked by Luna and Karandia rivers.

In the absence of roads, more than 15,000 inhabitants of these villages depend on river embankments for communication.

But, major portions of the embankment roads remain inundated with floodwaters for days together and make commuting a nightmarish experience.

A 5-km long Luna river embankment road from Sathilo to Basapur lock has been lying in a bad shape for several years.

A 2-km stretch of the embankment road comes under the rural development department while another 3-km stretch comes under the jurisdiction of the irrigation department.

“Crores of rupees are spent every year on strengthening the river embankment, but due to substandard work the situation is yet to improve,” said Amiya Jena, a local.

“If a person falls sick or a pregnant woman has to go for deliver, then the family members and relatives have to carry the patient in slings and walk till Baspur bridge from where they hire an auto-rickshaw or avail free ambulance service,” informed Bharat Chandra Nayak, another local.

The villagers face their worst nightmare in the rainy season when they fail to venture out of their houses.

To provide healthcare facilities to the people of Luna-Karandia island, a primary health centre (PHC) was set up at Nanakar. But for the last four years the health department has failed to appoint a permanent doctor at the PHC.

Whenever the Mahanadi river system is flooded, people of the island face crop loss.

Earlier, people of the 13 villages had demanded a bridge at Sathilo, but the administration has not taken any step to concede the demand.

The villagers have also demanded hostel facilities at Sathilo High School to make it a residential school, but the long standing demand is yet to be fulfilled, Chinmaya Kumar Rout, a local said.

When contacted, Collector Reghu G said the administration would look into the demands of the villagers and do the needful.  PNN

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