With rivers in the region getting wider due to soil erosion along the embankments, it is existential problem for many villages along the river.
To make things worse, many rivers are changing course and no steps have been taken to arrest soil erosion. Over 15,000 people of Kantamal block of Boudh are facing displacement by the river Tel which has already destroyed 500 hectares (ha) of fertile land.
With every passing year, Ghantapada village is getting closer to the river Tel. Likewise, half of the Guabahal village has already vanished due to erosion. Every time rainwater is released from Indravati dam project, it flows into the river Hati and joins the Tel aggravating the situation. In Sonepur, about 20 villages located in Ulunda, Binka and Birmaharajpur block besides large tracts of fertile land in Sonepur district have also been affected due to erosion by the Mahanadi. Come monsoon villages of Kapasira, Nimna, Dasrajpur, Badhila, Khajuriapali, Hikudi, Bijepur, Bhajabalpur, Lankabahal and Jharapada in Ulunda block are flooded and fertile land along the river sand cast.
The situation in villages of Kamalpur, Nuagarh, Phulchara, Jharapada, Keuntipali, Godhaneswar, Kelgaon, Nuapada, Subalaya and Kunjamahul in Birmaharajpur block and villages of Gulapada and Jharapada in Binka block is no different.
Around 10,000 people in these villages are yet to recover from last year’s flood damage. Although the villagers have long been demanding construction of an embankment along the river, the administration is yet to take any measures.