The government boasts of implementing several schemes for the all-round development of the backward section in the rural areas. However, the people of Khopra village (Kumbarda) in Bhayandar continue to struggle for basic facilities more than seven decades after Independence.
Home to around 60 families, the village has a population of around 200 daily wage workers. Proper approach roads and potable water supply is the lifeline of any locality, but Khopra has neither. In the absence of roads, this village is disconnected from the rest of the city. During monsoon, the temporary pathway passing through fields and salt pan land gets inundated, leaving it battered and unusable. In a medical emergency, villagers have no other option, but to carry the patient right up to the main road for an ambulance or public transport to reach hospitals. These issues have been brought to the notice of civic authorities and elected representatives, but to no avail.
“All they want is votes and taxes, nothing else. Despite being deprived of basic facilities like water, roads, healthcare and education, politicians shamelessly come begging for votes. Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) brazenly recovers taxes without providing services,” said Mahesh Chavhan, a local who has threatened to agitate under the aegis of Utkrusht Sewa Pratishthan if the authorities fail to act.
“Private, coastal regulation zone (CRZ) and salt land issues have posed hurdles to construct roads. However, we have already sought the state government’s nod on the virtue of a resolution passed by the general body in 2018. Response is awaited,” said city engineer Shivaji Barkund. “The file for change in demarcation has been biting dust for three years and the civic body is not keen to follow the issue,” alleges Chavhan. While the road construction is stuck in red tapism, other facilities are not even being considered, even as education and primary healthcare is a distant dream. Notably, the village had remained in darkness for more than six decades after it finally got power supply in 2014.