Sep 02, 2013

Chittagong Hill Tracts: Khebukpara Village Still Deprived Of Basic Civic Amenities

The 75 families of the Khebukpara village in the district are still lacking such things as safe water, electricity and sanitation after being rehabilitated over twenty years ago by the Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board.

Below is an article published by the Daily Star:

The people of Khebukpara village in Sadar upazila under the district are still deprived of basic civic amenities including safe water and sanitation although Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board (CHTDB) implemented a rubber plantation project there around 20 years ago.
CHTDB rehabilitated 75 families in Khebukpara in 1994, providing each household five acres of land — 3.75 acres for rubber cultivation and 1.25 acres for homesteads gardening.
The residents are still outside the jurisdiction of electricity supply from Power Development Board (PDB) although people of nearby Dakbungalow, Bridgeghata areas are getting the facility.
On a limited scale, Grameen Shakti arranged electricity supply from solar panels in the area but it is too expensive for most people.
“I took solar panel from the company on condition of paying Tk 750 as monthly instalment for three years. Sometimes, I fail to pay the instalment in time due to financial problem,” said Bihari Chakma, a villager.
Unu Mong Marma, Uchimong and Lal Chandra Chakma have similar tales to tell.
Under the CHT electrification project, PDB in 2009-2010 fiscal year installed poles and wires but locals are yet to get power supply.
“Earlier the government authorities installed some tube-wells but those went out of order shortly afterwards. We are now using water from wells for drinking and cooking,” said Painkranu Marma.
Visiting the area recently, this correspondent saw women fetching water from nearby wells and ponds for cooking and drinking.
People use old and unhygienic toilets.
Consequently, water borne diseases often affect people, especially children and elderly ones.
People do not know about hygiene practice as absent of government programme and even no one NGOs reached the area.
As there is no school in the village, primary students there have to walk about four kilometres to reach Rajvila Primary School and secondary level students have to make a 20-kilometre bus journey to go to Bangalhalia High School.