JAGATSINGHPUR: ESSENTIAL commodities are out of people’s reach in Jagatsinghpur which was one of the districts worst hit by Fani. While there is an acute shortage of drinking water, vegetables prices have skyrocketed in the last three days.
Almost every vegetable is selling at`40 to `50 per kg and potatoes that sold at `10 before Fani, are now selling at `40 a kg. Dukhi Bewa, a villager of Raghunathpur, said poor villagers are the worst hit as they cannot afford vegetables now. “What can I buy if the rates of vegetable are as high as `50 per kg. I have to feed a family of eight but no money to buy vegetables for them”, he said.
Kerosene, which is high in demand by rural populace now, is being sold at `80 per litre. In the absence of electricity, people are mostly dependent on lanterns that need kerosene. In Paradip and Jagatsinghpur towns, unscrupulous PDS dealers are selling it at `100 a litre. Other villagers of affected areas in Erasama and Balikuda alleged that vegetables vanished soon after the cyclone hit the district and currently, an artificial scarcity of essential commodities and vegetables has been created by unscrupulous traders. Neither the district administration nor the Civil Supply Department officials have taken any steps to check hoarding or price hike of vegetables.
Meanwhile, the cyclone has destroyed crops in thousands of acres of land.Deputy Director of Agriculture, Ram Chandra Nayak said green gram crop has been destroyed in 22,000 hectares (ha) of land while vegetables in 2,100 ha and paddy crops on 323 ha are damaged. He said a joint verification will be conducted by revenue inspectors and village level workers for assessment of crop loss due to cyclone Fani and the report would be submitted to the State Government in two to three days. Compensation of `6,800 will be provided to farmers for crop loss in one ha of land in rain-fed area, `13,500 for per ha of irrigated land and `18,000 per ha of horticulture crops like mangoes and jackfruits.
On the other hand, the district administration has started taking measures to supply drinking water to Fani-hit people. There are 255 piped water supply projects in the district and generators are being used to pump water from 31 such projects, solar pump sets are being used to activate 14 water projects and 45 tankers are being used to provide water in town areas, As many as 13,704 tube-wells have been repaired to supply drinking water to affected people.