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How Techies are rebuilding this Ghost Village in AP’s Srikakulam

It’s been about 30 years since residents of the remote Pudapadara village abandoned their homes and migrated, leaving the locality in MS Palli panchayat of Kanchili mandal to degenerate into a ghost town. But a group of their children, who work as software engineers across the country, are now preparing to rebuild their ancestral village.

Anti-social elements used to take advantage of its remote location and cause trouble, members of the younger generation said, adding that the village also lacked basic amenities and livelihood options. There were about 50 households almost 110 years ago, said Bhaskar Padhy, whose family hails from Pudapadara and moved to MS Palli village of Kanchili mandal.

“Descendants of the Pudapadara residents have settled in Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Kharagpur, among other cities. Some work as software engineers and a few work in government departments. They visit the village once or twice a year as they have agricultural land there. We have now formed a group with about 10 successors of various families,” Padhy said, adding that the group has decided to rebuild the houses in the village in memory of their ancestors.

A gravel road to the village was recently laid, and once the houses are built, the group will demand drinking water, electricity and other facilities to make the locality liveable, he said. “The village remains in the revenue records though it was abandoned decades ago,” said Pudapadara VRO Govind, adding that the gravel road was laid as the village has a temple to Lord Shiva.

‘Deserted due to vaastu’

The then zamindar of Jalantrakota Raja Ramachandra Chotray built a temple in Pudapadara about 100 years ago. Locals believed the incorrect vaastu of the temple cast a bad omen on the village and people started migrating, Padhy said.