Major rivers receding, government breathes easy - The New Indian Express

Major rivers receding, government breathes easy

Published: 28th October 2013 01:31 PM

Last Updated: 28th October 2013 01:42 PM

The flood situation in Odisha continued to remain grim on Sunday, mainly in worst-hit Ganjam district with the death roll remaining at 15. All the deaths were due to wall collapse and drowning, Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said.

Four deaths each have been reported from Ganjam and Jagatsinghpur districts. Earlier, reports of six deaths were received from Ganjam, but two were not confirmed, Mohapatra said.

The State Government on Sunday decided that schools and colleges in the affected districts other than Ganjam will reopen on Monday. Schools and colleges will remain closed in Ganjam district till October 30. However, teachers and other administrative staff will be present in their institutions. In cases where school and college buildings have been damaged, the authorities will take a decision on whether to open these or not.

The low pressure-induced rains led to fresh floods in Budhabalanga river in Mayurbhanj district with water gushing into district headquarters town of Baripada and 50 villages. In Khurda district, breaches occurred near Patapur, Manikapur, Achutarajpur and Srinibaspur of Banapur area after  Salia dam overflowed. Ninety-six distribution transformers of CESU were damaged in the district due to heavy rains.

According to the office of SRC, over 39 lakh people of 12 districts have been affected in the flood while 60 villages still remained marooned in Ganjam district. Over 1.9 lakh people have been evacuated so far and provided cooked food or dry rations.

However, as the intensity of the rains has reduced, the State Government is hopeful of the situation  improving gradually. Revenue and Disaster Management  Minister Surya Narayan Patro said though rains continued in most parts of the coastal districts, the severity has gone down. In a sign of relief to the people of Ganjam, major rivers like Rushikulya, Godahada and Bansadhara were flowing below the danger mark.

The incessant rains had affected relief and rescue operations in several areas, particularly Ganjam, Gajapati and Nayagarh districts. Ganjam was devastated by cyclone Phailin a fortnight ago and is now affected by rains and flood. All the 22 blocks of the district were affected by flood. Though water levels in major rivers were receding, many people were still marooned.

Reports reaching here said the Bagi river, a tributary of Bahuda, breached a bundh at Digapur in Patrapur area and inundated the village. The situation is yet to improve in Aska, Dharakote, Sorada, Sheragada, Bhanjanagar and Digapahandi blocks.

The twin calamities have inflicted heavy damage on  road and other infrastructure in the district. Over 1,700 school buildings in the district were damaged.  Train services were affected due to submergence of tracks in Andhra Pradesh beyond Visakhapatnam leading to cancellation of about 13 trains.


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