JAGATSINGHPUR: Distressed over acute waterlogging caused by low pressure rains a few weeks back, farmers of Erasama block in Jagatsinghpur staged a demonstration in front of the tehsil office on Thursday, September 30, 2021. They demanded declaration of the entire block as waterlogged and compensation for the damaged crops. Airing their grievances that even 20 days after the deluge, water is yet to recede into the Hansua river, they said this has resulted in rotting of paddy crops which are submerged in 8-10 feet standing rainwater. Breaches have also been reported along Hansua at two locations, impacting Sompur, Paida, Pokhariapada, Krushanchandrapur, Ambiki, Jiraelo and other panchayats due to waterlogging.
Around 24 panchayats in the block were impacted by the low pressure rains that lashed the State in the second week of September. The impact got aggravated as crops started rotting as rainwater has remained stagnant due to poor drainage and encroachments. The agitating farmers said they were expecting to redeem the loss during pandemic with a bumper harvest but the rains dashed their hopes. Now the burden of debt and crop loss has started haunting them, they said.
President of Erasama Gramya Committee Amulya Kumar Biswal said, “Our crops are still inundated and water is yet to be drained. We demand Rs 20,000 compensation per acre, loan waiver, work to affected farmers, permanent solution to channelise the rainwater, price regulation of essential commodities and compensation for house damage.”
The stir was called off after Erasama tehsildar Pragyan Nanda Das pacified the agitators and assured them that the issues would be addressed. Contacted, District Agriculture Officer Rajkishore Das informed that total 31,000 ha paddy crops including 12,665 ha in Erasama tehsil have been damaged and a crop damage report has been submitted to the government.