ANDHRA PRADESH

Looking for a way out

MANALA (NIZAMABAD DT.), OCT. 11. Having been worn out representing for a pucca road connecting Manala to Rundrangi, nine km away, to authorities and elected representatives, residents of this remote village on the Nizamabad-Karimnagar border are still keeping their fingers crossed.

Development is the casualty of the absence of a road in the village. Residents have to pass through four mandals in Karimnagar district to reach their mandal headquarters, Kammarpally, 65 km from the village.

A seven-km trek

Though the mandal headquarters is comparatively nearer via Bheemgal, residents have to trek seven kilometres through the forest to reach Karepally to board the bus. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation is reluctantly plying a bus service from Korutla depot, since the tyres get damaged because the road is bumpy and dotted with potholes. When it rains, there is no bus service, says Peesari Tukaram. "Ours is a neglected village. The bus service was started only in 2002," laments Burra Narayana Goud, the village sarpanch.

He said authorities attributed the backwardness in the village to naxalite activity, but they had never come in the way; in fact, it was the People's War naxalites who had laid the mud-road in 1996 by raising funds. Subsequently, it was transformed into a metal road. The black-top road with an outlay of 1.65 crores was sanctioned recently, but had not materialised so far for reasons best known to authorities, he said.

Manala was once a shelter for naxalites; it has reportedly been adopted by the Minister for Transport, S. Santhose Reddy. However, the Minister has not visited the village so far, the Education Committee Chairman, Limbadri, said.

`Just a road'

Like those of Manala, a road is the main demand of residents of Konapur in the same mandal. "We want nothing more from the Government, just the road," the village sarpanch, Chiluveru Lakshminarayana, says. "The completion of a four-km road connecting Bhusanraopet in Kathlapur mandal has been our cherished dream. We will celebrate the day when the road is completed," a farmer, Pratap Reddy, says.

The 15,000 people in the two villages face numerous problems without proper roads. Incidentally, the former Minister, the late M. Mahipal Reddy, and his wife and former MLA, Annapurnamma, hailed from this village.

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