Koppula Ravindra, a 24-year-old man who belongs to the tribal village of Chalisingam in Anakapalle district of Andhra Pradesh died on the night of Monday, January 23, at the Narsipatnam Area Government Hospital. His body was initially taken in an ambulance up to CK Padu, a village on the foot of a hill. From there his family had to carry his body on a makeshift stretcher made of bedsheet and wooden pole for three kilometres.
The road leading to their home is not motorable. The family says that they had to stay along with the body at night in CK Padu as it was dark already. According to residents this is not the first incident reported in the area. In October 2022, another man, about the same age as Ravinder died due to severe sickness. His body had to be taken uphill in a similar manner.
“Even when someone is sick we have to carry them like this. We request the government to lay the road,” said Nukaraya, the relative who helped carry Ravindra’s body uphill. According to K Govind Rao, district president of Girijana Sangam Fifth Schedule Sadhana Committee said a seven kilometre road was sanctioned in the year 2018- 2019 from CK Padu to Losinghi village, which is located at a higher altitude than Chalisingham village. “After the change in government the project stalled,” he said.
Chalisingam village, a Bhagatha community settlement, has a population of about 400 people. Mohan Rao, Deputy Engineer, Panchayati Raj Rural Development Department, agreed that it was true that the road was sanctioned earlier and said, “The roads in the area whichever was has only completed 25% were paused. We are aware of the situation. We have already sent a new estimate for the government. It might be sanctioned soon.”