Villages cut-off after launch services stop

Cut off from rest of the world due to stop of launch services, a delegation of peoples` representatives met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Bhubaneswar: Cut off from rest of the world due to stop of launch services to 151 villages in Chitrakonda area of Odisha`s Malkangiri district due to Maoist threat, a delegation of peoples` representatives on Friday met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here seeking his immediate intervention.

"We have apprised the Chief Minister about the miseries of about 25,000 people living in 151 villages spread over seven gram panchayats. People`s suffering has no end as launch service is the only mode of communication for 151 villages," said Bansidhar Muduli, vice-president of Malkangiri Zilla Parishad.

Muduli, who led the delegation of 30 panchayat samiti members, sarpanch and ward members of the region, said the launch service to the villages has been stopped since August 20.

The delegation met Patnaik after the district administration failed to resume the service from Monday as assured earlier.

Opposition Congress members had also raised the issue in the recently concluded monsoon session. However, there had been no change in the situation.

However, Muduli said: "The Chief Minister has assured us to resume launch service very soon".

While narrating miseries of the people, Kausalya Sisa, a woman from the cut-off area, said she along with some other villagers dared to hire a motor boat to cross Balimela reservoir.

"I was forced to cross the reservoir by motor boat as my children are suffering from fever and the village hospital has no medicine," she pointed out.

Sources said a group of armed Maoists had threatened the launch operators to stop the services immediately or face consequences. The state`s water resources department had been operating six launches in Balimela reservoir since a long time in order to provide communication to the people in cut-off area.


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