Rasalpur: Even as it has been 72 years since Independence, 40 families of Parikhi panchayat in Sadar block in Balasore district continue to cross a river by boat to fetch drinking water, a report said.
While both the Centre and state claim to have been spending crores of rupees for infrastructure development in rural areas, this locality surrounded by forest and water from all sides seems to have missed the government’s growth radar.
The village neither has a proper road nor a tube well to meet the drinking water needs of the residents. Though a couple of tube wells were drilled in the past, they produced saline water which was unsuitable for human consumption.
Similarly, people find it difficult to venture out of their houses in the rainy season and students often miss their classes as they fail to reach their school.
On the other hand, farming in hundreds of acres of farmlands has been damaged this season after they came under saline water.
Though they raised the issue with the people’s representative including the MLA, MP and higher education minister, it fell on deaf ears, alleged the villagers.
They would boycott the coming elections if their problems are not solved soon, said Jhadeswar Jena who has been living in the panchayat over last four generation.
According to reports, though Parikhi is just 17 km from Balasore town, the tribal residents have to cross river Budhabalanga to collect rations from the panchayat office. The students also use a bamboo bridge and boat to reach their school. Though the administration has been apprised of the problems, the officials never bothered to take any measure, said Charubhadra Jana, the president of Parikhi Vikash Manch.
Sima Singh, a Class VII student of the village, said earlier she used to get scared of water around her home but she got acquainted with it now. However, she had to miss her classes on many occasions as the bamboo-made bridge submerges in water in the rainy days, Sima added.