LokSabha 2019: For EC officials, boat is the  only way to reach this place

Anvita Srivastava
Saturday, 13 April 2019

 “Polling staff of five people will leave for Sakhari on April 22 so that they can reach by evening and can do the arrangement for peaceful polling on April 23. They will be staying there for one day. The polling booth has mobile connectivity otherwise a wireless or satellite phones would have been arranged for reporting,” said the Election Commission official.

PUNE: Sakhari village in Mulshi taluka is the only polling booth in Pune district which is inaccessible by road. The hamlet is about 70 km distance from Paud and it takes almost two-and-half hours to reach there, stated Election Commission officials.

One has to travel by boat for another 10 to 15 minutes and walk one-and-half km to reach Sakhari. This is the usual journey for villagers even for basic amenities. The new way was created after Varasgaon Dam was constructed. As per Census 2011, total population of Sakhari was 14 and Vadvali 123. 

Many villagers were rehabilitated after the construction due to the backwaters which affected the village. These villagers come back for voting here each time. There is one Zilla Parishad school here which is non-functional and has been deployed as polling booth.A total 120 voters will be participating in the elections from the hamlet.

SAKHARI GEARS UP FOR ELECTION
The polling booth in Sakhari covers two villages, Sakhari and Vadvali. It  comes in the Assembly constituency of Bhor which is under the Parliamentary constituency of Baramati.  “Polling staff of five people will leave for Sakhari on April 22 so that they can reach by evening and can do the arrangement for peaceful polling on April 23. They will be staying there for one day. The polling booth has mobile connectivity otherwise a wireless or satellite phones would have been arranged for reporting,” said the Election Commission official.

NO EASY RIDE TO VILLAGE
However, resident of Sakhari, Babu Margale said that most of the villagers were rehabilitated after the village got isolated because of the dam water. “There are no mobile phones or network availability in our area therefore communication is difficult. We don’t have any primary occupation, however those who go to cities to work send money to their families here,” said Margale.

The hamlet falls under Guru Gram Panchayat which comprises a cluster of villages like Sakhari and Bohini. There is supply of electricity, water and gas cylinders in this village, the residents told Sakal Times.

“There are three houses owned by Dabade family (us). We are a total of 15 people residing here. We own land here so we didn’t want to leave this village. Children from our family study in Pune so we keep visiting them there. Electricity and water supply is available in this village. We also have gas cylinder connection, but we don’t use it much. It is inconvenient to refill used cylinders and get them transported to the village because it has to be done through the water. Therefore, we mostly rely on natural resources like chullah,” said Pandharinath Dabade, Police Patil and resident of Sakhari.

“There are no shops, schools or other amenities available, thus people living in this village travel for their daily needs to the neighbouring villages like Gadale and Bohini which takes 20 minutes by boat,” said Dabade.

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