Maharjganj (UP): Surrounded by jungles and the Narayani River, people of Shogibarwa village in the district are in touch with the outside world for only three months in a year and have no electricity or communication facilities.

The tough topography of the village in Nichlalul area makes it difficult for residents to dream of basic facilities like water, education, communication and health.

Though situated only 20 kilometres from the block headquarters, the tough topography of the area could be gauged from the fact that the locals are required to travel around 88 kms to reach the place.

"Locals first have to travel eight kms on foot crossing the jungle and river bed to come to Naurangiya in Bihar and from there they reach Nichlaul block via Siswan block in Maharagnaj after crossing Kushinagar district covering a distance of around 88 kms," a local official said.

District Magistrate Vinay Kumar Srivastava said to reduce the distance, the Forest Ddepartment attempted to construct a road through the jungle under MNREGA, but it cannot be completed as part of it falls in Nepal and Bihar
state.

Road between Shogibarga and Nichlaul opens only for three months between March to May.

"During monsoon this village is completely disconnected from the rest of the world and takes the shape of an island," the official said.

"Topography is the main reason behind its backwardness. The jungle is so dense that it's difficult to construct a road," the DM said.

With a population of 5,333 people, the villagers are largely dependent on agriculture. The village has two schools, but they are locked as no teacher is willing to join duty at Shogibarga.

Going by the official records, villagers are peace-loving as only eight cases had been lodged at the local police station in the last five years.

Though the police station was set up to check crime in Kushinagar district and Bihar border only two cases were lodged in 2006, one in 2008 and maximum five in 2010 with no complaints in 2007 and 2009.

Superintendent of Police V K Shekar said that as the population of the village comparatively lower and there arrival of people from other places is almost negligible crime rate is almost nill.

He said that whatever minor disputes occur, villagers sort it out between themselves.

(Agencies)