BHAWANIPATNA: Panic gripped Pandigaon villagers under Kalampur block as water entered the village following a breach in right canal embankment of Indravati dam on Wednesday night.
Sources said the breach was not a regular one as it was found below the ‘culvert drainage’ of Indravati right canal through which water gushed and partially submerged Pandigaon village. The main culvert has not breached its embankment as is the usual case.
Moreover, as people were in deep sleep in Pandigaon when the water entered the village, they could not take measures to save their belongings. The villagers said they woke up to the sound of water late in the night and found the lanes inundated as they came out of their houses.
Water also entered 20 houses in low lying areas and was flowing at knee deep level on the village lanes.
Sources in Indravati Project Office said they closed the canal gate at Mangalpur barrage in the morning and stopped release of water into the right canal to check flooding.
Water also submerged farmlands in the village. Paddy crops in about 100 acres in different stages of growth - from panicle to flowering - have been submerged.
The dimension of the breach cannot be exactly stated, said project office sources. The village was still under water till reports last came in and details of damage, if any, can be ascertained only after the water level recedes.
The right canal system is in a dilapidated condition and breaches its banks at regular intervals at different places. The proposal for repair and renovation has not been taken up as tenders for the work have been cancelled seven times for different reasons.
Executive Engineer, Right Canal Division of Indravati project Rajkumar Behera said steps have been taken to plug the breach and in next 24 to 48 hours, efforts will be made to resume release of water in the canal.