BALASORE: Ingress of tidal water to farm land due to heavy rain triggered by low pressure in the Bay of Bengal has left the farmers in seaside villages of Balasore district worried. Many of them, who started farming activities following the rain last week, now fear that their crop yield would be badly affected if the water does not recede from the farm land within a day or two.
A farmer from Kasaphal, Purna Chandra Mohanty, is scared of losing his paddy crop for both kharif and rabi seasons. With his land submerged since Monday, Mohanty fears that saline water will damage the saplings.
The plight of Mahesh Mandal of Sartha area is worse. Apart from paddy, vegetable crops on his 20 decimal land have been affected. Sources said ready to harvest crops are under water for the last 24 hours and the area is getting inundated time and again due to a breach in the saline embankment.
The sources said the crops in at least 5,000 acres in the district have been inundated. The tidal waves entered many seaside villages spreading panic among the residents.
Bijay Parida, a local, said for the first time they witnessed tidal waves of around five feet high. “Though the crop lands get inundated by tidal waves during rainy season, for the first time sea water entered the village. The villagers in low lying areas left their houses for safer places,” he added.
The tidal waves have breached the feeble coastal embankments in the seaside villages of Sadar, Basta and Remuna blocks besides damaging houses and shops in Sartha, Kasaphal market and destroying shrimp farms.
The villagers alleged that sea water entered the villages as the embankments that breached during Phailin were yet to be repaired. Two big breaches have been created in the embankments of Panchupada and Dubudubi tributaries at Charania and Naikani.
A team of officials inspected some of the worst-hit areas on Tuesday. Sub-Collector Indramani Nayak said the tidal waves have breached saline embankments, while sea water has swamped villages and spilled over to the embankment buffer erected above the sea level.
“A team of revenue officials including local Tehsildar and BDO visited the affected areas along with the officials from Agriculture and Irrigation departments. The damage assessment report is expected in a day or two following which compensation would be paid,” Nayak said.