Raipur: NTPC's railway line from Tilaipali to Lara has affected thousands of acres of farming and agricultural land. About 61 bridges are being built in this 65-km railway line so that there is no problem in the movement of the affected villagers.
Over 90 per cent of the land of the villagers of village Bhikharimal in Raigarh district is located in Jammuda, Farsidih, Junadih, Mudabhag, Chakradoli towards Kotraliya road outside the village and the road leading here has been dug up by the NTPC railway project and are not being constructed. In such a situation, the villagers are facing trouble to do farming work in their about 500 acres of land. If the underpass is to be made for the railway line, then a pit of about 20 to 22 feet has been dug and its slope is also such that neither the bullock cart is able to cross it nor the harvester. An alternate unpaved road has been made in which vehicles are getting stuck every day.
The problem does not end here, after going a short distance, the gate on the way to Kotarlia station has also been removed due to the new line. The underpass that has been built is filled with water up to 10 feet. People are forced to cross the Mumbai-Howrah main railway line and accidents are happening here every day as villagers have to travel an additional 14 km to cross the railway line. This situation has been created here since last 3 years.
According to the villagers, since then 6 people have lost their lives in train accidents and the same number of people have been victims of the accident. Several vehicles got stuck in the track and were shattered after colliding with the train there. Over 2,000 villagers directly and 10,000 indirectly are affected by these roads.
Kashiram, a 65-year-old farmer from Bhikharimal said that due to the blocking of the road to these fields, 50 per cent of their crops could not be harvested as they could not go there. Now that the crop is on the verge of ripening, he can neither take the bullock cart nor the harvester.
Similar is the condition of 70-year-old farmer Tankdhar Pradhan who told that the path is not right, he himself has fallen many times but he cannot leave the 8-acre field just like that. Due to the digging of the main road without any other way, many nearby villages are facing problems of life and property on the other side.
Rural Rohit Pradhan said that we protested many times to block the road from Bhikharimal to Kotraliya but no one listened to us. Then there have been many life-changing incidents in crossing the railway line directly due to non-availability of gates and alternate underpass for 3 years. The administration should take immediate cognizance of this.
The agitated villagers are gearing up to launch a mass movement if their demands are not met at the earliest.