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Sans roads, drinking water, mobile network, Malnad villagers lead primitive life

Sans roads, drinking water, mobile network, Malnad villagers lead primitive life
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Sans roads, drinking water, mobile network, Malnad villagers lead primitive life 

Highlights

Agitations for basic infrastructure by villagers in Sharavathi backwaters have history of decades. Now the agitation is gaining momentum as it is spreading to other taluks of the Malnad region

Shimoga: Agitations for basic infrastructure by villagers in Sharavathi backwaters have history of decades. Now the agitation is gaining momentum as it is spreading to other taluks of the Malnad region

which is deprived of basic amenities even after seven decades of independence.

Though the Central and State governments have announced many fancy projects like digital India, Powerful India, Pade Bharat Bade Bharat, but their benefits are not reaching remote areas.

A visit to remote villages of Shimoga and Uttar Kannada districts in Sharavathi valley will shed light on the pathetic condition prevailing there. It's no exaggeration to say that they are a century behind in development and civilization is a far cry from other areas.

Last week, Rathnamma (56), a native of Tagti village, in Bhanukuli gram panchayat of Barangi Hobali in Shimoga district, had fallen ill. Her family members carried her in a makeshift stretcher on their shoulders for more than three km because there is neither a proper road nor a vehicle. Rathnamma's husband Narayana and neighbours Ravi, Beerappa and Nagappa carried her up to Kanuru, crossing the hilly terrain and braving the rain.

She is now undergoing treatment at Sagar. "This is nothing new for us. It has been the situation during the rainy season for decades," said Kalyan Kumar, a farmer who lives in Halmi, a neighbouring village. Whenever someone falls sick suddenly in this village of 15 houses, the relatives carry the patient to Kanur, from where they can get access to vehicles. "The path is also narrow and slippery. We somehow manage to take vehicles on the path during summer, but it is impossible in the rainy season," he said. The photo of the woman being carried on their shoulders of men went viral on social media.

During rainy season it is really agony for villagers as there is no vehicle to reach them. These villages don't have roads, electricity, drinking water facility. Even two-wheelers cannot pass on the roads as they are mostly slushy.

Such being the situation, it's too much to ask for access to mobile network in these primitive villages. Students walk 2-3 km and climb up a hillock to get network access to make phone calls.

The villagers in Barangi and Karuru Hobalis have launched an agitation with the slogan: No network, No vote. This novel agitation has received a huge response from the people and it's expected to spread to other taluks also.

Speaking to reporters, BJP MLA Haratalu Halappa said he would support the abhiyan as the villages lack basic amenities despite pressure on the officials concerned.

Former revenue minister Kagodu Thimmappa, Sagar constituency former MLA Belur Gopalakrishna also extended support to the movement. In the wake of forthcoming taluk panchayat and zilla panchayat elections the abhiyan is gaining importance.

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