151 Malkangiri villages in Naxal stronghold to finally reconnect with India after almost 50 years

The 151 villages in Malkangiri district of Odisha, the Naxal-affected bastion, which was completely cut off from the rest of the state for almost last 46 years, due to the Machhkund and Balimela reservoirs in the Chitrakonda forest has now finally been reconnected to the state.

A decade ago, on June 28, 2008, due to the isolated nature of the area, 37 specially trained policemen of Andhra Pradesh’s elite anti-Maoist Greyhound force became target practice for Maoists while they crossed the Balimela reservoir in Malkangiri district of Odisha on a ferry. They were all killed in a gutsy assault by the Maoists, who were well equipped and strategically positioned on the forested hills around the reservoir. They strafed the boat until it sank. The area remained forgotten after this gruesome attack.

An impassive attempt to connect these villages through a ‘hanging bridge’ in 1982, by the then Odisha Government headed by Janaki Ballabh Patnaik of the Indian National Congress party, was made at a cost of seven crores. But due to the half-heartedness of the then Government, the project never took-off.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Gradually, these 151 villages, cut off by a reservoir in the Chitrakonda forest area, drifted away from the political mainstream into the lap of the Maoists.

Another attempt to connect these lost villages were made in the year, 2005, but Gammon Infra, the builder, ultimately backed out after threats of violence and blowing up of the bridge emerged. By 2008 when the Greyhounds were killed, no one wanted the bridge any longer, and it became a forgotten chapter.

The Navin Patnaik Government went pillar to post, requesting the Home Ministry and other agencies to execute it under schemes for ‘Left Wing Extremism’ (LWE) affected areas, but no concrete plan could emerge as it was considered simply too risky. The State however determined finally went ahead with its plans and almost a decade after the Greyhound incident occurred, the task was accomplished and a bridge called the Gurupriya bridge is now ready for inauguration.

What was estimated at Rs 7 crores in 1982 has been constructed at a cost of Rs 172.5 crores by Kolkata-based Royal Infraconstru Ltd. But ultimately, the project of constructing the 910 metre-long bridge with 22 spans that will now connect 30,000 people to the rest of the state and also allow for anti-Naxal operations to be conducted has been accomplished with 38 flood lamps fixed under the bridge to keep a watch on any activity in the river and CCTV with night vision cameras has been installed and linked to surrounding BSF camps.

Before this task, another mammoth task of building a bridge in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh that reduced the distance between the towns of Dornpal in the Maoist-affected Sukma district to Podia town in Odisha from 120 km to just 3 km was successfully executed by the Odisha Government.


Share This Post and Support:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Most read articles recently

AM Sheikh Dawood promised of offering 10 litres of free liquor monthly to the families in his constituency on his victory

Independent candidate from Tamil Nadu promises 10 litres of free liquor every month on winning elections

An independent candidate from Tamil Nadu has come up with a strange promise of offering 10 litres of free liquor every month to every family in his constituency

Nitin Gadkari at the receiving end: Is there a pattern?

Indian Express has a massive interview of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in its March 23, 2019 edition.

Shunned by the BJP, jilted Shatrughan Sinha goes on a rampage against the party, rumoured to join Congress

Shatrughan Sinha was visibly irked and had a Twitter meltdown after the BJP declared Ravi Shankar Prasad's candidature from Patna Sahib constituency

Rahul Gandhi’s lucrative and seemingly clandestine means of income and his links to scam accused FTIL, Unitech

How does Rahul Gandhi earn to buy land and other properties? A mystery we try to unravel

NC Lok Sabha candidate Akbar Lone begins a rally with ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, says will abuse anyone who abuses Pakistan

Akbar Lone, NC Lok Sabha candidate for Baramulla, said that the country across is a Muslim country and abusing Pakistan would mean he is abusing himself
Owner of AAP propaganda blog agitated when Sushma Swaraj stands up for two underage Hindu girls

AAP propaganda site owner gets angry after India expresses concerns over atrocities against Hindus in Pakistan

Sushma Swaraj's move to seek details of the Incident had agitated quite a few people in Pakistan, including their Information and Broadcasting minister Ch Fawad Hussain, who saw it as an intervention in Pakistan's internal matters.

Where is the money? Rahul Gandhi’s promise is going to cost a whopping Rs 3.60 lakh crore a year, 13% of union budget

Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme of Congress party ensures monthly income of Rs 12,000 for 20% of India's population
'Rahul Gandhi is running away from Amethi, not me': Smriti Irani on rumours BJP might field her from Wayanad

‘Rahul Gandhi is running away from Amethi, not me’: Smriti Irani on rumours BJP might field her from Wayanad

Smriti Irani rubbishes rumours that have surfaced about BJP thinking about fielding Smriti Irani from the Wayanad constituency too, to counter Rahul Gandhi. 

Actor R Madhavan offers support to PM Modi to urge voters to cast votes in elections, gets trolled by ‘liberals’

Because of their sheer bitterness for Modi, these cynics are in no mood to spare anyone who comes out in support of Modi
Sapna Chaudhary denies rumours of her joining Congress

Embarrassment for Congress: Sapna Chowdhury says she never joined Congress, picture with Priyanka Gandhi old

Denying rumours, Sapna Chaudhary said that the photos in circulation on Internet were old

Latest articles

Connect with us

149,143FansLike
120,708FollowersFollow
31,500SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these


Share This Post and Support: