40 km from Bhubaneswar and living on rooftops

The villagers are spending sleepless nights on the roofs of their houses as flood in Rajua river has submerged the area. 

Published: 20th August 2022 06:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2022 06:59 AM   |  A+A-

Flood-hit villagers on rooftop in Saradhapur village | Express

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Barely 40 km from the State Capital, the misery of 2,000 marooned residents of Saradhapur village in Khurda’s Brajamohanpur gram panchayat has been compounded by incessant rains. 
The villagers are spending sleepless nights on the roofs of their houses as flood in Rajua river has submerged the area. 

While road connectivity to the village, having around 380 families, has been badly affected, the lone multi-purpose shelter in the locality was submerged in the flood water forcing people to take shelter under polythene sheets on rooftops. The worst affected are the elderly, children and women. Water gushed into Saradhapur and nearby areas following a breach in the embankment of Rajua river near Tirimal in Khurda on Wednesday. 

Despite frequent incidents of flood in the area, the village lacks a proper temporary shelter. The one that exists is in shambles and gets waterlogged during heavy rain or deluge, said the villagers. They alleged that the administration is yet to send a medical team to the village to take care of the sick, elderly and pregnant women. 

The villagers said polythene sheets were distributed to them only on Friday morning. Even as the village is partially submerged in flood water, the administration has set up a community kitchen on the roof of a club house next to the river embankment. Distribution of cooked food among people remains a challenge in the village owing to rain and unavailability of adequate number of boats. 

“Food was distributed among the villagers with help of an ODRAF boat and a local boat last night. However, we have sought more boats to help us in the relief distribution operations,” said sarpanch Badri Narayan Bhujabal. 

Apart from the deluge, farm land in five revenue village including Brajamohanpur, Gopinathpur, Sadheigada, Grameswarpur and Saradhapur have been inundated in the flood.  With Saradhapur remaining vulnerable to flood, Bhujabal urged the government to create an embankment of 1.5 km length to protect the area. He also sought construction of another transit shelter in the village. 

Apart from Saradhapur, flood situation remains grim in other parts of Khurda, one of the worst affected blocks of the State. Sub-Collector Gaurav Shivaji Isalwar said three gram panchayats and 17 villages of the block have been affected while 14 villages are marooned.  Around 7,000 people and hundreds of livestock have been hit by the deluge in the villages, while acres of agricultural land have also been inundated. 

“The water-level is stable as of now. We are monitoring the situation closely in view of the rainfall alert,” he said, adding provision of cooked food and dry ration has been made for people in the affected villages, while around 4,000 kg cattle feed has also been distributed.  ODRAF personnel have been deployed for rescue and relief operations in the affected areas. 


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