Seaside village in Odisha's Ganjam district faces erosion threat

Villagers of Ramayapatana have been asked to move to a rehabilitation colony set up under the Odisha Disaster Recovery Project.
Damaged seaside village at Ramayapatana | Express
Damaged seaside village at Ramayapatana | Express

BERHAMPUR: High tide has damaged more than 10 houses and a community hall in the seaside Ramayapatana village of Ganjam district on the full moon day on Thursday. District officials led by local Tehsildar Hara Prasad Bhoi, Additional Tehsildar Shakti Prasad Srichandan and Chikiti ABDO Ramakant Sahoo on Friday visited the marine transgression areas of the village and took stock of the situation.

Srichandan said the villagers have been asked to move to the rehabilitation colony set up under the Odisha Disaster Recovery Project (ODRP). So far, houses of 27 families have been affected due to high tides in the last one week. These families have already been given houses at the ODRP colony. Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange has directed the officials concerned to initiate measures for construction of embankment.

Sources said the village regularly witnesses high tides and the residents have been facing the threat of sea erosion since long. To rehabilitate the affected villagers, houses under ODRP were constructed at Chandabada Chowk near Ramayapatana. Of the 580 families, 320 were given houses at the colony. In 2016, several coconut trees and houses were washed away due to high tides.

Janardhan, a local social worker, said while no steps were taken to provide ODRP houses to the rest families in the village, the houses at the colony are too small to accommodate all members of a joint family. This apart, the colony is located at a low lying area and lacks drains. The villagers are not interested to stay in an unhygienic condition. During the last decade, the sea has eroded around two km beach near Ramayapatana, he said.

Similarly, diversion of Bahuda river mouth is another reason of entry of water into the village. Villagers of Surala and Patisunapur had diverted the river mouth of around one km from its original location for fish farming, he said.

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