Kajugotto inhabitants struggling due to lack of basic facilities

Sameer Bhatt | NT

CURCHOREM: Around five months ago, this daily had highlighted the woes of villagers from Kajugotto under Kaurem-Pirla panchayat of Quepem taluka.

Following the report, local MLA Prasad Gaonkar, ex-MLA Subhash Phaldessai and Prakash Velip and government officials had visited the village and taken stock of the situation. But till date nothing much has changed.

Kajugotto village is situated amidst the hilly forest and has about 150 inhabitants, including some 80 persons registered in the voter’s list.

Due to lack of roads and transport facility, the villagers have to walk on foot for a distance of around 5 to 6 kilometres to catch a bus to reach either Canacona or Quepem.

The village faces lack of drinking water and medical facilities. Though the villagers have provision for electricity, most of the time there are power cuts especially during rainy season.

There is a primary school constructed by the locals and the government has provided a teacher for the school. Around 15 to 20 children have to get up early in the morning and walk a distance of 6 kilometres to catch a bus to attend a high school at Gokuldem. There is no drinking water facility in the village and a natural stream is a source of drinking water for the locals.

In absence of healthcare facilities, the villagers have to travel as far as Balli or Canacona for medical treatment.

It becomes extremely difficult for the villagers to take a sick person or a pregnant woman to the hospital in case of an emergency. Due to lack of transport, the patients have to be carried on the back.

The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture which includes cultivation of paddy, besides being engaged in cashew, coconut, mango, areca nut and banana plantations.

The villagers say every five years during the Assembly and panchayat elections, the candidates visit them urging for their votes and assuring to solve all their problems. But, even after 55 years of Goa’s liberation, the area has remained undeveloped.

When contacted the local panchayat member Tolyo Velip, he said that the file regarding construction of 7-kilometre road, work costing around Rs 7 crore from Curka to Kajugotto to Kiskon, is already ready and sent to Panaji for approval. Similarly, the process for construction of culvert, work costing around Rs 6 lakh, over a nullah is almost done and landlord’s NOC and technical approval from the concerned government department were awaited.

A villager Meghnath Gaonkar informed that enquires have revealed that the file regarding the road has moved from Quepem to Margao and Margao to Panaji but there were no indications about the progress in the matter.

When contacted Sanguem MLA Prasad Gaonkar, he said that the problem of forest land coming in the construction of the road has already been solved and the construction of the road and the culvert will start from March next year.