JAGATSINGHPUR: Fear of flood gripped people residing in riverside villages of the district on Friday after the authorities decided to open 36 gates of Hirakud dam for release of excess water from the reservoir.
While many villages in several blocks are water-logged due to incessant rainfall, the flood threat has triggered panic among hundreds of villagers whose houses are located near weak river embankments and its surrounding areas.
Four rivers - Mahanadi, Chirotopla, Devi and Biluakhai - flow through Jagatsinghpur district. The embankments of Devi and Biluakhai have become weak at Nachipur, Narapari, Beherasahi, Mundilo, Ghadimula Gapada gheri, Eksudha, Patenigaon near Dhuleswar temple, Salanti Korua gheri, Kolar, Salagaon, Phulhar, Belabana, Tuembeswar, Kulasahi, Angeswarpada, Bachalo, Bhandisahi and Sikhar under Jagatsinghpur and Naugaon blocks.
Similarly, the five-km embankment stretch from Balikani to Khosal and Termanpur to Manijanaga of Taldanada canal along Mahanadi river have been identified as vulnerable points. Besides, the Devi river embankment in Kulashai and Bhandisahi under Naugaon is in a pathetic condition.
Though lakhs of rupees have been spent for its repair and maintenance, the embankment gets damaged every year. Sources said breaches have developed at many places of the embankment.
Expressing concern over the vulnerable embankments, locals said the repair work should have carried out before the rainy season.
“No proper survey to identify the weak embankments of different rivers has been carried out yet. We request the authorities concerned to strengthen the vulnerable points and spurs at the earliest,” they said.
Meanwhile, heavy rains have inundated many villages of Raghunathpur and Tirtol blocks. As many as 50 families have been marooned after breaches occurred on Debendra road to Itang village of Katara panchayat. Paddy crops over vast tracts of farmland have been submerged while many thatched houses in Tirtol, Raghunathpur and Paradip collapsed due to entry of rainwater.
Contacted, executive engineer, Irrigation Division Pratap Kumar Satpathy said, “We have inspected Daleighai and other vulnerable embankment points in Jagatsinghpur, Naugaon and Biridi block. There is no need to panic as all measures have been taken to strengthen the embankments. Except at Kulasahi and Bhandisahi of Nuagaon, there is no danger to the embankments. We have stocked 1,500 sand bags at Kulasahi and 3,000 at Bhandisahi. Besides, 50,000 sand bags have been stocked at Machgaon, Allipingal, Daleighai and Birabarpatana to meet any flood situation.”