Sunday, Feb 29, 2004
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By Our Staff Reporter
ADILABAD, FEB. 28. The Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, has kept his promise made to residents of the naxalite-affected Gangapur in Kadam mandal, by sanctioning Rs. 25 lakhs to construct 21 culverts on the 16-km road laid with shramdaan by tribals and the police.
Gangapur has been hogging limelight for the past one year after villagers, particularly women and DWCRA members, revolted against 30 armed naxalites and forced them to retreat from the village. They announced a blanket ban on supply of food and shelter to naxalites.
Within a few months, the villagers had another brush with naxalites, who came to the village in search of a target. The women mustered courage and attacked the naxalites and snatched a country-made weapon from them and handed it over to the police. After the two incidents, the police and the district administration focussed attention on the village.
The village, located deep inside the Gangapur and Indervelli forests, lacks proper road - it has taken the lives of 20 snake-bitten villagers as they could not be taken to hospital. Women in labour pains also had no medical help and a couple of them breathed their last before reaching the nearest hospital. The villagers had to trek a few kilometres, get into a ferry and cross the Kadam river, before making it to Khanapur or Kadam mandals, both 30 km away.
Even before the district administration stepped in, the Superintendent of Police, Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat, visited the village and interacted with locals who explained their woes. Among their needs was a road between Navabpet and Gangapur.
On November 28, the SP inaugurated shramdaan at Navabpet village. For the next 20 days, more than 100 tribals from Gangapur and nearby hamlets accompanied by 25 police personnel offered shramdan to lay a gravel road for 16 km. The efforts yielded result as the first bus service to the village was inaugurated on January 18 this year.
Mr. Bhagwat said after the Chief Minister had promised release of Rs. 25 lakhs, the relevant orders were issued by the district Collector. Armed with the order, residents of Gangapur and nearby hamlets took up construction of culverts. Officials said the 16-km road stretch would be black-topped and proposals for this were prepared. Locals were now planning to grow vegetables keeping in mind needs of people. Milk was also being transported to Kadam mandal headquarters.
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