KENDRAPARA: MORE than two decades back, the State Government had planned to shift all 571 families of sea erosion-hit Satabhaya gram panchayat of Kendrapara district but sluggish rehabilitation process has forced the villagers to live at the mercy of nature.
It was planned to rehabilitate the families at Bagapatia village, about 12 km from Satabhaya. With monsoon already here and relocation still a distant dream, the people are preparing to face the onslaught of nature this season as well, said Suchitra Panda, Panchayat Samiti member of Satabhaya.
The sea has crept almost 3 km into Satabhaya within two decades, said Sudarshan Rout, a villager.
“Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, had visited Bagapatia rehabilitation colony in May and directed the officials to speed up rehabilitation work to shift the villagers to safety before June 30, but there is no relief in sight yet,” added Rout.
“We allotted 10 decimals land to each family to build their house as per the latest Government rehabilitation work. So far, 150 families built their pucca houses and around 200 families constructed thatched houses at the rehabilitation colony at Bagapatia on 188 acres of land. All the 571 families were also given `1.5 lakh each to build their houses under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana and Chief Minister’s Relief Fund”, said Khirod Behera, Nodal Officer of Satabhaya Rehabilitation Project and Tehsildar of Rajnagar.
A school, an anganwadi centre, gram panchayat office and a cyclone shelter have already been constructed at Bagapatia, he added.
Foundation stone for the rehabilitation colony was laid on June 8, 2011 but ever since many families of Satabhaya have already left the village fearing the sea.