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Deopani river washes away culvert, villages cut off

25 tribal villages disconnected and isolated from mainland

Bokajan, June 16: The tall claims of the BJP- led coalition government of providing electricity and better connectivity in the remote interior villages falls flat in the hill district of Karbi Anglong, which is considered one of the most backward regions in the State.

The present scenario of the interior villages of this hill district is worst. It has been over two decades that the tribal villagers, living in as many as 25 villages, on the other side of river Deopani was hoping for development and good governance in the area.

This remote part of the Bokajan Assembly Constituency, which falls under the Deopani MAC Constituency of KAAC, has remained unchanged with no sign of development since independence.

Every year, during monsoon, a portion of the culvert which serves as the lifeline of the people living on the other side of the river is washed away by the gushing downstream water causing extreme inconvenience to the tribal people of the area.

The culvert, which serves as an indispensable part of the road, links over 25 contiguous tribal villages to the mainland is facing government’s apathy for over two decades now.

Over the years, people living in these villages have been socially and economically marginalized due to ignorance of the KAAC authorities. “The expected development is still a distant dream for the people here due to the lack of a concrete bridge over Deopani river,” said a local resident while carrying his bicycle over his shoulder to cross the river.

Agriculture is the prime occupation of the inhabitants here and monsoon means greater peril for the residents. “We cannot carry our agricultural produce to the market across the river and have been facing tremendous hardships to make both ends meet,” said a farmer who was sitting by the banks in tattered shirt, hoping for the water level to recede.
What’s worse and disturbing is the fact that the students from both side of the river have a very difficult access to education. Small school going kids commute to schools crossing the rickety narrow bamboo plank in a regular basis. This has also indirectly affected the morale of the students for opting education and the number of dropouts has been rising alarmingly.

The remote areas of Karbi Anglong lacks the basic amenities of health, education, connectivity and has witnessed a slow pace of development. The KAAC was formed under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution to empower the tribals and safeguard their political, cultural and linguistic identity. However, endless corruption and mismanagement of developmental funds have completely jeopardized the socio-economic development of KAAC administered areas.

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Sentinel Group