NUAPADA: Farmers of Chalana village under Sinapali block of Nuapada district are a worried lot. River Udanti, which had been nurturing their crops till two decades back, is now eroding their farm lands. Besides, affected farmers are paying land cess for the land that the river has already eroded.
Rampant erosion of embankments of the river has rendered many farmers landless. River erosion started in the village 20 years back and so far, Udanti has gobbled up large tracts of farm lands. Even as the villagers had drawn the attention of district collectors and were assured of construction of a guard wall, there is no sight of any work.
Farmers like Shasanka Thakur and Sadanand Thakur have already lost five acres of land to the river while, Narahari Thakur, Debamadhab Thakur and Prasanna Bisi lost three acres each. Similarly, Gajendra Panda, Ratu Nial, Padman Meher and Bhakta Kata of the village claimed that they have lost two acres of their fertile land to the river. Udanti has also eroded one acre of land each belonging to Chaturchand Nial and Lochan Meher. But, these farmers are forced to pay cess for the land they do not have.
Farm lands of other villagers have been rendered sand cast. Many farmers have stopped cultivating kharif and rabi paddy fearing that their crops might be damaged by the river. Contacted, Sinapali Tehsildar Gandaram Khamari said land of the affected farmers would be measured and compensation paid to them. Land cess will not be collected from those who have lost their land entirely, he added.
Earlier, Collector Mohammad Saddique Alam had written to the Executive Engineer, Irrigation, to prepare an estimate for construction of guard wall.