Phiringia: Villagers of Magamunda of pabingia panchayat under Phiringia block in Kandhamal district are not exercising their franchise this elections. The decision comes in the wake of district administration not acting on their repeated requests to solve perennial problems.
The administration’s efforts to ensure cent percent voting will fail, at least at Magamunda village. “In the month of December, we had intimated the district administration about our decision to boycott the elections if our problems are not solved. The administration did not pay any heed to it hence we will boycott the elections and not allow any leaders into our village,” said one of the voters.
Sakhipada, Timidipanga, Basapanga, Maniadipi, Kantapadar, Khaelkhul, Bitiripanga and Dani hamlets comprise Magamunda village and over 1,100 villagers reside here. Sans motorable road condition, communication problem hits the villagers badly. To reach panchayat office, the villagers have to trek a hilly terrain of eight kms. Magamunda village is 14 kilometers from the block office. From the block headquarters up to Pabingia, the six kilometer stretch is manageable but the rest falls in hilly terrain and full of craters, making it inaccessible by walking, let alone for vehicles.
Another road via Putukipada is no better either. Six kilometers of the ten kilometers stretch is also not communicable.
Drinking water problem is the other problem that makes life miserable. The villagers quench their thirst with the water they collect from pits and rivers. This is the reason why the villagers suffer various water-borne diseases in rainy season.
The villagers have taken up their problems with the political leaders and the administration on several occasions. They also intimated the block development officer.
Since no solace is received from the leaders and the administration, they decided to boycott the elections as was intimated to the block development officer in December and March.
“Even after communicating our problems and decision to the BDO, nothing has been done so far. Hence about 500 of us voters are going to refrain casting our votes,” said the villagers including the village leader Dushashan Kanhar, Chakradhar Kanhar, Gokul Kanhar and many others.
When asked, BDO Pravin Kumar Banua said, “The road is presently under construction under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sarak Yojana.”