JAGATSINGHPUR: Panic gripped villagers of Palasol and Dingeswer after deep holes were formed in paddy fields on Friday. The incident has left farmers a scared lot and they have stopped going to the paddy fields. Tractors have also been restricted from going to the fields for ploughing.
Sources said craters have formed in different paddy fields of the two villages. People of the nearby localities are rushing to the paddy fields to witness the unnatural phenomenon.
Following the incident, Collector Yamini Sarangi directed local Tehsildar, BDO and soil conservation officials to conduct a joint inquiry into the incident and submit a report soon. On Saturday, Revenue and Soil Conservation officials visited the fields, interacted with villagers and examined the craters.
Subash Chandra Behera, a farmer, said, ‘’We have never seen such a phenomenon before. The depth of the holes would be around five to six feet. To avert any untoward incident, farmers have stopped going to the fields.’’
Some villagers even linked the incident to supernatural power. Villagers Laxmikant Ray, Mahendra Parija, Pratap Parija, Dijwabar Mallick and Tudu Ray urged the district administration to probe into the incident and find out the reason behind it.
Tehsildar Padmalochan Sahu said, ‘’We have located around 30 holes in different paddy fields of these two villages. The width of each hole is around three to four feet and depth five to six feet. We have restricted the villagers from going to the paddy fields to avert any eventuality.’’ After preliminary investigation, it was found that IOCL had constructed a drainage system and laid pipelines through these villages in 1980. These drains were not properly filled or packed.
It is suspected that the earth above these drains might have caved in after rainfall, forming well-like holes. ‘’We will submit our report to the Collector within one or two days,” Sahu added.