BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday deputed three senior IAS officers to monitor the flood situation and submit damage assessment reports.As per the Chief Minister’s direction, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan has been given charge of Jajpur district while Forest and Environment Department Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra was asked to monitor the situation of Bhadrak. Similarly, Home Secretary Asit Tripathy will assess the flood situation in Rayagada where Kalyansinghpur block faced one of the worst floods in the recent years.The Chief Minister has asked the three senior bureaucrats to visit their respective districts on Thursday and submit reports upon their return.
Meanwhile, flood situation continues to be serious in Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore where over 50,000 people have been hit. Seven blocks and one Notified Area Council in these three districts have been officially affected. Preliminary reports say, at least 128 villages in 33 gram panchayats were inundated although water levels in Baitarani and Subarnarekha rivers have started to recede. Two women - Anima Nayak and Jemnamai Barik - drowned in Bhadrak where 47 villages in Bhandaripokhari and Dhamnagar blocks as well as Dhamnagar NAC faced the floods. Preliminary reports put the flood affected population at over 36,000 in the district where over 1500 hectare of crop land has been submerged.
In Jajpur, over 12,000 people in 16 villages were marooned in Jajpur, Dasarathpur and Korei blocks where dry food was also distributed by the administration. So far, at least 110 villagers have been rescued in the two districts by the four Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams. Five gram panchayats in Baliapal block of Balasore were affected by the flood.In Sundargarh’s Kuanrmunda block, 13 families living in low-lying areas were moved to safety after Koel river swelled following heavy rains.
To review the relief and rescue operations, Chief Secretary AP Padhi held video conferencing with the district collectors. He asked Collectors of Rayagada, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri to submit preliminary damage assessment reports to Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi.
Padhi said, enumeration of house damage, private property and agriculture land should be expedited for assistance under SDRF norms. The collectors have also been instructed to keep a close watch on the weather reports from India Meteorological Department and water level in the rivers to respond to all situations effectively.Disaster Response Force must be kept in readiness and low lying areas should be under focus of the administration, he said adding priority should be evacuation of people and provision of free kitchen.