Villages and hamlets in lost mile of connectivity!
For tourists and vacationers, passing along a remote island may of course be fun. That is because of their one-off visit and authorities usually make sure their day is made. But, to live in a village surrounded by water on all sides, and with no connecting road bridge, calls for superhuman efforts to just survive.
Kadem (Nirmal District): For tourists and vacationers, passing along a remote island may of course be fun. That is because of their one-off visit and authorities usually make sure their day is made. But, to live in a village surrounded by water on all sides, and with no connecting road bridge, calls for superhuman efforts to just survive.
Seventy years after Independence, residents of Gangapur here need to cross Godavari river using a country boat if they want regular contacts with the outside world. They can’t help using the boat service, though it is known to be risky, inconvenient and uneconomical.
That is not all. Non-local teachers, engaged by the lone school in the village, hardly manage to attend the school two days in a week. They too blame their absence on the lack of a road bridge. Another piquant situation facing the village forced into isolation is that not many bridegrooms are coming forward to marry girls in the village out of fear of having to cross the river by a country boat.
Expressing her anguish, Lakshmi says that the country boat could go down the water if there is any abnormal increase in the wind speed. Villagers travel by the boat invariably with prayer on their lips. For, there is no guarantee of safe return for those who leave the village for the mainland using the boat. Their fears are not unfounded. There are at least 20 families in the village that have lost some of their elders in drowning incidents.
The deceased include four pregnant women. In case of medical emergencies and expectant mothers, the villagers have no alternative but to use the country boat. Narsamma, another resident, says that in the absence of a road bridge, the villagers have been facing many problems. No ambulance can reach the village. Sometimes, seriously ill patients die en route the hospital.
The people of the village need to go to Khanapur, their nearest point for accessing essential commodities. The only mode of transport available to them is the country boat. If it rains, using boat service translates to asking for trouble. Some of the villagers stay put for the night in their relatives’ house and return to the village the next day.
Sakka Rao, a farmer, is sore that, in the absence of proper transportation facility, he cannot find buyers to whom he can profitably sell the paddy produced by him. No wonder, farmers in the village have learned to live with their losses.
Ashok, a resident who detests truant teachers, says children of the village are groping in the dark for want of education. Observers say that construction of a road bridge would solve the transportation problems of not only Gangapur, but also other villages like Allampalli and seven tribal thandas.
By Thotla Chinna Anjaiah
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