From children to old
members of the villages nearby, everyone has to walk over the rope to
cross the river and go to any place of utility. ‘This is the system
since long and we have no other option than crossing the river on this
wire only’, said Antapati Pradhan, Makabali Village.
Every need that needs
to cross the river forces these people to risk their life. From going to
school to go for marketing or a health check up, these people are to
cross the river by walking on the wire tied to trees and logs on the
This again is made by
the people of the villages.
‘People of four
Panchayats use this wire to cross the river. They are Baliguda, Nuagaon,
Drepanga, Bandrabaju, Gudrikia etc.’, said Rajanikant Behera, Banjamaha
While explaining how
the villagers are being troubled and how callous the administration has
been to their issues, Rabindra Digal of banjamaha village said, ‘This
rope way is used by more than 10,000 people. We are facing lots of
troubles in the rainy days because of this. School children are
remaining absent for many days. We face troubles even in attending
courts and other government offices. Many are afraid of walking on the
rope. The wire has taken more than 20 lives who fell into the river
while crossing it. We have talked to the officers for a bridge over
this. We met the collector 3-4 times. But nobody responds to our
problems and we have to be satisfied with their promises without any
action. Many times, in case of emergency, we are unable to take someone
to the nearby hospital or go to the market for essential goods. Many
patients die because of this’.
Same is the situation
in Simanbadi Panchayat of Daringbadi Block in Kandhamal District. People
of Dokarabadi and nearby villages are also forced to walk on a wire tied
over Tikapaka river. At least seven thousand people from the nearby
villages use this wire to cross the river, come out of the village and
go to the market or any other place.
Even women and old
people are supposed to walk on the rope risking their life or stay
confined in their villages for months together. Think, if a pregnant
woman with a little complicacy is required to visit a hospital. What she
Even though from a
different political party and accused of promoting violence in 2008, the
local MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly} said, ‘the government is on
its move to kill Kandhamal. It’s really shocking that after 63 years of
independence thousands of people are still deprived of a bridge to cross
the river and go out of the village.
administrator specially designated to supervise development programmes
in Kandhamal gives all blame to the geography.
‘There are many such
villages getting isolated by small and big rivers during rainy season.
The local geography is difficult as well. People use to live on hills
where making a road is also a difficult job. But we are still planning
to solve those issues under different programmes, said Madhusudan Padhi,
Special Administrator, Kandhamal throwing few more promises without any
definite time frame.
plea or reason for not making a bridge that would facilitate
communication in a backward state like Kandhamal is shocking. More
shocking is that, can we explain what these people have got even after
63 years of freedom? Just an annual celebration of Independence Day?