By Rohidas Raut
The district of Gadchiroli is completing 40 years of its formation on Aug. 26, 2022. It was forty years ago on this historic day that a separate district came into existence following the bifurcation of erstwhile Chandrapur district with River Wainganga as its border line. A long struggle of the people finally bore fruits and the new era started with naturally much higher expectations of the people about their progress and overall development.
Spread over a vast geographical area of 14412 square kilometres from Korchi in the north bordering Chhattisgarh to Sironcha in the south that borders Telangana state is covered with lush green forest, all weather flowing rivers and huge stock of rich minerals like iron ore besides the beautiful natural spots like Tippagad, historical and ancient places like Markanda and Wairagad that can attract the tourists in large numbers.
The period of 40 years is not so small to count the development of any geographical part or the human standards. However, if one looks back the pace of development seems to be quite slow that needs to be expedited to transform the district in a developed status. It is not that nothing has been done in the past 40 years. Most of the administrative structure has been developed such as District Hospital, District Court, District Jail, Agriculture College, University, some highways etc. However, much more has remained to be done ahead in order to make the life of the people comfortable and worth living. The district has still remained among the most backwards districts of the country.
The life of the people in remote areas has still continued to be horrible with no connectivity in lack of means of transportation that compels the people to carry the patients on their shoulders to the hospitals for medical treatment crossing the rivers and rivulets in deep waters. Many of the villages remain cut off during rainy days. This is the stark and terrible reality that is certainly not expected to continue in the modern times when the entire world is marching ahead in technology and living standards. Concrete and urgent steps are needed to be taken to remove this blot from the face of the district.
The people of the district have also remained far away from the human development index despite several schemes and programmes and crores of rupees having been spent. One may naturally ask where have all these funds gone and why the expected progress of the people could not be achieved even after 75 years of Independence and 40 years of the district formation. A serious attention needs to be paid by the government and the administration to reply these questions.
The long pending railway line between Wadsa and Gadchiroli, the opening of Government Medical College, Engineering College and connectivity of roads in the tribal remote areas are some of the things that need to be addressed urgently. The effective political leadership with a strong will and active administration can do this. Unfortunately, the district lacks both these things one has to say. The district is not represented in the state cabinet there is no strong voice in the House of the State Assembly and the Parliament. This naturally affect the administration too.
The recent floods have made the people’s life more difficult and they need to be given urgent government relief. Floods were so dangerous that hundreds of families had to be shifted to safer places. Many of these families had to stay on the national highway by erecting temporary makeshift plastic huts. The situation is quite heartening and disgusting.
The district lacks industries except the Surjagad Project that has been started despite strong opposition of the local tribals. It has provided some unskilled employment but needs to be developed with forest based small units that will provide jobs to the people and will also conserve the forest. Unemployment is the major issue that needs to be focused on priority. Despite fertile land, crops frequently fail, sometime due to heavy rains and sometimes shortage of rains with no guaranteed irrigation.
Special attention with specific facilities needs to be paid towards the district for its development and progress of the people to remove the blot of backwardness.