Election a ritual in remote Tripura village with no motorable road, electricity, mobile connectivity

There is no healthcare facility either in Vidya Kumar Roaja Para, a village that falls under East Tripura Lok Sabha constituency

Published - April 24, 2024 05:37 pm IST - Chawmanu (Tripura)

Image used for representational purpose only.

Image used for representational purpose only. | Photo Credit: PTI

Bikramjoy Tripura, a 'jhumia' (shifting cultivator) residing at a remote village in Tripura's Dhalai district said politicians come to his hamlet during elections and though their promises remain unfulfilled, he casts vote every time with the hope of getting electricity at his home and mobile phone connectivity in the area.

The main problem of Vidya Kumar Roaja Para village, which is located around 62 km away from Ambassa, the district headquarters of Dhalai, is connectivity as the village does not have a motorable road from Chawmanu, the block headquarters, he told the PTI reporter who visited this remote village.

There is no electricity, mobile connectivity or healthcare facility in our village, he said.

"The Lok Sabha election is coming and we all will vote on April 26 but it remains a five-year ritual for us because it will bring no solution to our problems", the 41-year-old said.

"During monsoon, the village which houses 763 jhumia families, all involved in shifting cultivation, remains cut off from the rest of the state. The road from Chawmanu to Vidya Kumar Roaja Para (Thalcherra) turned into a death trap because of the lack of repair for the past several years. Jhumia families living in 11 villages need to travel 10 to 20 km on foot to collect ration as there is no road from Vidya Kumar Roaja para to their villages," said Bikramjit, a local BJP leader.

"We have smartphones but cannot use them because there is no electricity in the village. To charge a mobile we have to travel 10-12 km which is close to Chawmanu block headquarters," he said.

Chardene Tripura, an elderly woman, echoed the same problems of her native village Vidya Kumar Roaja Para (Thalcherra).

"We have not seen our MLA Shambu Lal Chakma for many months. He does visit us when the election comes. Hope he will visit our village soon to seek votes", said the 54-year-old woman.

The village falls under East Tripura Lok Sabha constituency which goes to voting on April 26.

"We have a ration shop at our doorstep but it opens once a week. The jhumias who come from interior hamlets face trouble if they don't get ration stuff on the scheduled day. There are several people living in remote habitations after Vidya Kumar Roaja Para, who have to travel several kilometres on foot to get rice, salt, kerosene and sugar", said Bishaynna Tripura, husband of Chardene Tripura.

Lekajoy Tripura, a Tipra Motha local leader said, "We don't have electricity at home. The villagers collect water from Chawmanu Chhara (a hilly rivulet) and drink it. We don't have anyone to solve our basic problems", he said.

"The teachers in our village school come from Chawmanu or Ambasssa side and leave school after serving mid-day meal. The leaders visit villages only during election time. There is none who have shown any will to address the problems of our village", Lekajoy said.

Hindijoy Tripura, a shopkeeper said, "We recharge our mobile phone by spending Rs 300 but hardly use mobile data for five to six days in a month because of feeble mobile connectivity. On urgent need we climb hills to receive mobile signal".

There is no healthcare facility in the village and the only healthcare facility exists at Chawmanu, which is far away from Vidyakumar Roaja Para and its adjacent 10 tribal habitations.

Sitting MP of Tripura East Lok Sabha constituency Rebati Tripura said he had taken up the connectivity issue of the villagers with the Centre several times.

"I have met Union Ministers Giriraj Singh and Nitin Gadkari and sought their intervention to improve the connectivity from Ambassa to Chawmanu and Govindabari. It is a fact that the road is yet to get a facelift", he said.

The MP said he got 292 mobile towers sanctioned by BSNL for the northeastern State. "I hope BSNL will install mobile towers to boost mobile connectivity in the interior areas of the state, she said.

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