KENDRAPARA: There is no respite from the flood situation in Luna-Karandia river island under Marsaghai block as all the five panchayats of Bangalpur, Indalo, Jalapok, Aitipur and Basapur continue to remain under water.
Relief is also yet to reach villagers of Balarampur, Balisingh, Nanakar, Dutipur, Kanibanka, Pakhibata, Dihajalapoka, Salara, Sisua, Sathilo and Purusottampur. They have now exhausted their ration stock. "The Government is yet to provide help to people who need it the most now. The Government is doing nothing to save us and our children from starvation," rued Bhaskar Sahoo of Jalapoka village.
Sources said that over 80,000 people reside in areas near Luna, Karandia and Chitrotola rivers. They live an uncertain life due to frequent flooding in these river island villages. As many as 15 villages were submerged on Monday after floodwater was released from Hirakud dam. Nearly 55,000 people have been shifted to higher ground.
Sangita Jena (32) has taken shelter in the first floor of a building in Balarampur village after floodwater entered her house. "I can’t think of any means to provide food and clean drinking water to my two sons. Safe drinking water has emerged as the biggest problem. All of us are now suffering from stomach problems," she complained.
During campaigning in the area in the last elections, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had promised to stone-pack the 17 km long river embankment under flood protection project. However, the promise is yet to be fulfilled.
Secretary of Luna-Karandia river island development committee Dr Amiya Jena said that the island is surrounded by Luna and Karandia rivers. Due to non-construction of the 17 km embankment from Satholi to Balaramapur, floodwater easily enters villages of the island.
"Five years back, the State Government had constructed only six km of the embankment. Though we have urged the Government to complete the embankment several times in the past, no step has been taken to solve our woes," he claimed.
District emergency officer of Kendrapara Sambeet Satapathy said the administration has already distributed rice and other essential items among the flood-hit villagers. Farmers are the worst affected as the floods have damaged crops on hundreds of hectares of agriculture fields, he added.