Indore: Potlod basks in Sumitra spotlight

  • Punya Priya Mitra, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: Nov 14, 2014 23:37 IST

There is a palpable air or excitement and spring in the step of every resident of Potlod, an otherwise non-descript village in Sanver tehsil, as they wait for transformation to sweep the village.

Ever since Potlod, situated around 60 km from Indore, was chosen under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana by Lok Sabha speaker and Indore MP Sumitra Mahajan, the villagers believe that they have won a lottery to development.

Under this project each MP has to adopt a backward village and develop it into a model village within one year.

Panchayat secretary Vishnu Patel and the NREGS sub-engineer Akhil Choure, who rarely visit the village normally, are visiting everyday and preparing a detailed map of the village.

“We have to submit a detailed map of the village following which a detailed project report for the development of the village would be prepared,” says Choure.

And more visits are planned, says Om Prakash Mandloi, a prosperous farmer and former village sarpanch, very proudly. "Collector saab is going to come and then Tai (Sumitra Mahajan) will also come."

Ask the villagers and they will tell you all that is wrong with the village boasting of a population of around 3500. From power problem to lack of proper roads to drains, the village is afflicted with lack of basic infrastructure.

The last two kilometre of the road joining Potlod to Chandravatiganj is a mere dirt track. Naturally, no bus, truck or any big vehicle can enter the village, and villagers have to go to Chandravatiganj for every need.

There was a well functioning sub-health centre around two decades back, but the building has now fallen into a state of disrepair and health workers on duty rarely visits the centre, and it is locked most of the time.

The condition of the panchayat bhavan is equally dilapidated. There is a functioning room on the first floor but everytime the villagers go there, they joke about the building collapsing.

Even though there are a number of prosperous farmers in the village who sent their children to schools in Indore, the overall level of cleanliness leaves a lot to be desired.

"Around 70 families still defecate in the open, there is no drainage as a result of which monsoons months are hellish for villagers, and there is no proper garbage collection system," says Dilip Gharu, the husband of the present sarpanch Binu Bai. Binu Bai is illiterate as is Dilip and though she got elected last time when the village sarpanch’s post was reserved for scheduled caste woman, she has not been able to do much for the village.

There is fresh hope for Dilip and other villagers who gather around a small temple to discuss the obstacles that will come in the way of developing the village.

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