An ambulance boat carrying a 17-member medical team reached out to panchayats of cut off areas of Balimela reservoir in Malkangiri district on Wednesday.

It may be noted that due to threat of Maoists, motorboat service to cut off area of Balimela reservoir has been stalled since Aug 21. It had affected Public Distribution System (PDS) and medical facility in the area. Speaking to The Hindu, the Block Development Officer of Guma, Romanchal Khamari, who monitored the travel of this ambulance boat, said “this ambulance boat also transported the inhabitants of cut off area who wanted to travel to Chitrakonda. Then the ambulance boat returned back to Jodamba in cut off area.

According to administrative officials, Malkangiri district administration has started talks with Visakhapatnam district administration for transportation of PDS goods to the cut off area from Andhra Pradesh. As per the BDO, the PDS goods had already been distributed in three panchayats of cut off area. Using a motorboat of government, Mr Khamari had visited three panchayats namely Rakegada, Barpada and Paparmetla to monitor the distribution and supply of PDS goods.

Now, the administration is trying to make PDS supplies reach the other three panchayats of cut off area, which are Andrapalli, Panasput and Jodamba. It was hoped that PDS goods would reach these areas soon via Andhra Pradesh.

Efforts are also on to resume the stalled motorboat service for the common mass.

On Aug 20 night a group of unidentified persons suspected to be Maoists had reached the jetty for motorboats near Chitrakonda and had asked local people to pass on information to the motorboat operators not to ply boats or face dire consequences. Due to this threat by alleged Maoists Balimela Hydel project officials preferred to suspend plying of all the six motorboats.

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