Cut-off region villagers want to stay with AP

Malkangiri: Residents of Papulur and Kurmanur, two panchayats of Chitrakonda block of this district, want their panchayats to be part of Andhra Pradesh after they were deprived of basic amenities for past several years, according to a report.

Residents still have no access to facilities like health, education, communication, drinking water and electricity even as their plight often makes newspaper headlines, the villagers alleged.

Recently, Chief Minister felicitated a doctor who along with the help of a tribal youth carried a pregnant woman on a cot to save her life since an ambulance couldn’t reach the village. Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan also appreciated the doctor in his Twitter account.

The tribal villagers said they are happy for the fact that the effort of the young doctor was recognised. However, both the state and the Centre forgot to take note of the other issues of the region. Apart from honouring the doctor, the government should declare a special package for the development of the region, locals said.

Angry over the negligence of the state government, several residents of Papulur and Kurmanur demanded their panchayats be inducted in Andhra Pradesh and the map be changed accordingly.

They said a government delegation should visit the village inside AP border to see the picture of development. The remote villages inside the neighbouring state give an urbane look while the tribals in villages in Orissa side struggle to get minimum facilities.

Despite battling with Mao menace, the AP government fulfills basic needs of citizens whereas a house under Indira Awas Yojana is still a dream for many in Chitrakonda block of Malkangiri.

According to reports, more than 20,000 people of tribal Kandareddy community reside in Papulur and Kurmanur panchayats. But they are yet to get a tribal status in the state. On the other hand, the Maoists cash in on the poverty of tribals and gain confidence by helping them in their time of need. The ultras often provide food and medicines to the people which the state administration fails to do. The rebels, after helping out the people, instigate them to wage war against the establishment, it was learnt.

It may be recalled that the Maoists had abducted the then Malkangiri collector Vineel Krishna about six years back. According tribal status to Kandareddy community was one of their conditions when they released Krishna. Though the state government gave in to the demand of the Maoists at that time, the tag still eludes the community, locals said.

The region would continue to suffer from Maoist problem until the administration comes up with a package for the uplift of tribals, a top police officer of the area said under condition of anonymity.    PNN

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