SALEPUR: With water in river Luna rising following heavy rain and the weak embankments yet to be repaired, hundreds of riverside villagers in Nischintakoili block are spending sleepless nights. During rainy season, breach in the embankments creating flood is a normal affair every year.
Due to indifferent approach of officials of the Water Resources Department, the embankments on both sides of the river could not be repaired before the monsoon though `11 crore was sanctioned by the State Government for the purpose.
The left embankment, stretching for about 10 km from Barapada to Bharigola, is vulnerable at Badathakan, Khanda Sahi, Banua Sahi, Kula Badakhiri, Kentalo, Lokanathpur, Asureswar and Pubansa where the river bed has been eroded due to excess sand-lifting. The embankment had breached near Pubansa in 2008 and since then, it is facing damage during rain every year.
Situation is not any different on the nine-km right embankment of the river that stretches from Tilakana to Tarat. It is damaged near Tilakana, Demando, Baliapada, Bandhakatia, Damodarpur, Koilirangi and Tarat. A breach occurred at Tilakana in 2008 causing extensive damage in the Luna-Chitrotpola deltaic region.
While the left embankment is under Kendrapara irrigation division, the right embankment is under the supervision of Jagatpur Irrigation north division.
During 2008 flood, river water was found either overflowing or gushing through multiple perforations at vulnerable points of both
The Water Resources Department had then decided to repair the left embankment at an estimated cost of `seven crore by increasing its height and stone packing. Similarly, a sum of ` four crore was sanctioned for increasing the height of right embankment and stone packing at damaged
After an inordinate delay, the Odisha Construction Corporation (OCC), which was assigned the job, began work in May. But the work had to be stopped this month due to rain.
Sub-Divisional Officer, Pundalo irrigation sub-division, Pratap Jena, who is also in charge of maintenance of right embankment, said work on strengthening the embankment was stopped due to rain. “It will be started after the monsoon,” he said.
Banka Bihari Samal, Sub-Divisional Officer, Chhata irrigation sub-division who is in-charge of left embankment, said the strengthening work could not be started as contractors were finalised only recently.
The left embankment, stretching for about 10 km from Barapada to Bharigola, is in vulnerable condition at Badathakan, Khanda Sahi, Banua Sahi, Kula Badakhiri, Kentalo, Lokanathpur, Asureswar and Pubansa where the river bed has been eroded due to excess sand-lifting. It had beached near Pubansa in 2008 and since then, it is facing damage during rain every year