Titilagarh/Kesinga: The lifelong dream of Kutarakend village residents for a bridge is soon going to be fulfilled.
Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti Minister Tukuni Sahu Saturday visited the remote hamlet under Mahulapada panchayat in Titilagarh block of Bolangir district and saw for herself the hardship the villagers have been facing for decades after she had to walk on a temporarily built wooden bridge to reach the village.
Kutarakend village is just four kilometers away from the Muribahal main road. But, to reach the village, one has to cross three rivulets. The village remains cut-off from the rest of the world for seven months as the rivulets have water for seven months in a year.
The village is tucked away in a reserve forest and is mostly inhabited by tribal families displaced for Badmal ordnance factory in 1984. Since their displacement, they have been facing several issues- road communication being the major one.
When they need to shift a serious patient or pregnant woman to the hospital, they carry them in slings or cots, cursing themselves for being made to live in such a wretched condition.
However, the road communication problem has been solved to some extent. They built a wooden bridge this year. After taking up the issue with the administration on several occasions, they gave up on the administration to build a bridge for them. Later, they joined hands and laid out a wooden bridge. Now they are walking on this bridge. And Minister Tukuni Sahu also used the same bridge to reach the village.
In 2011, a road bridge was all set to be laid out to the village under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sarak Yojana. But, the work did not take due to some problems including the village’s population. It was then so low that it did not meet the criterion.
The minister said the road bridge will be constructed under Mukhya Mantri Sadak Yojana (MMSY). And the total cost will be released from the Western Odisha Development Council fund. During interaction with the girls and youths of the village, she asked them how they are going on with their education during this pandemic. She also promised the youths a clubhouse.
The villagers thanked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Minister Sahu for taking the initiative to end their 37-year-long issue.