Andhra Pradesh

A village sans road since Independence

Children walking on the gravel road at Pulleticheruvu Palle in Chittoor district.   | Photo Credit: ByArrangement

Residents of Pulleticheruvu Palle village of Valmikipuram mandal of the Piler Assembly constituency have been dreaming of a decent road for them since Independence in vain. The village is approachable only through a rough terrain over bumps.

The village, which had over 150 families a decade ago, is now inhabited by 60 families, consisting of about 200 people. A large chunk of the village looks deserted with dilapidating or vacant houses. Two years ago, the officials had closed the elementary school due to heavy dropout rate. A dozen children have to negotiate 2 km of rough terrain to reach the road point for their nearest school in Chintaparthi. Dairy farmers have to wait at the nearest cross roads to supply milk cans.

The lifestyle of the villagers has changed what with perennial drought. Though a majority of the tanks in the semi-arid western mandals received good inflows thanks to good rains in the last three years, the 70-acre tank by name “Pulleti Cheruvu” adjoining the village had not and looks bone dry. The villagers mostly depend on dairy farming. Drought had forced over 100 families to migrate to Madanapalle, Chintamani and Bengaluru.

Lankipalle Gurunatha (39), an ex-serviceman-turned-Yoga guru, who lives in his farmhouse, is a mute witness to the official apathy. Barring half a dozen families, the village is hit by illiteracy and none had ever come forward to approach the officials or politicians. “After the rainy season, every year, residents volunteer to fill the potholes with gravel. We appeal to panchayat officials and local leaders to look into our plight, but the suffering seems to have no ending,” he says.

The villagers lamented that in 2009, they had approached former Chief Minister (united AP) N. Kiran Kumar Reddy (then Piler MLA) but their request was turned down on the ground that they had not voted for him.

With the support of the villagers, the Yoga guru had had extensively campaigned for the cause on social media for three years, apart from approaching Minister Nara Lokesh and the district administration. Ironically, the revenue officials informed the villagers that the village did not exist in the revenue records.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 10:07:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/a-village-sans-road-since-independence/article22652209.ece

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