BERHAMPUR: High tides in the sea for the last fortnight has sparked panic among the villagers of Ramayapatana, the seashore village under Chikiti block of Ganjam district. On Saturday, the receding tides damaged 12 rooms of nine families located along the shore and devoured 150 coconut trees and scores of casuarina trees.
As Saturday was a full moon day, the tides were as high as two metres and by evening, the water had touched the village forcing the families to shift to safety. The sea has also advanced by about half a km towards the village, said sources.
About a week back, high tides swept away houses of 15 families, uprooted coconut trees and damaged a recently constructed road from village to the beach.
To protect themselves from the sea’s fury, the villagers created a barrier of boulders but that failed to stop the sea from hitting their habitation. The villagers alleged that the river mouth near Sunapur where Bahuda joins the sea has changed, resulting in erosion. They urged the administration to construct a guard wall near the mouth for free flow of Bahuda water into the sea.
Chikiti BDO Sangram Panda said, a colony has been constructed around one km from Ramayapatana, but the villagers have not shifted. Officials have been asked to assess the damage in the village, he added.
The villagers, on the other hand, claimed that they are ready to shift if all families are provided houses there but the colony has not been completed. They alleged that the village has over 430 families, but the administration has constructed houses for 320 families.
The irony is that the victims of the high tide have not been included in the beneficiary list. They urged the administration to provide necessary assistance to the victims and construct houses for the remaining 110 families.