PARADIP: The torrential rains have stopped but not the sufferings of people in five panchayats of Kujang block. They have been waterlogged since Sunday with backwaters from the sea yet to be drained out. Located 10 km away from the sea, these panchayats have a population of 30,000 people. Due to incessant rains, backwaters entered the villages on Sunday.
Locals alleged that a road constructed by IOCL and installation of bamboo fishing nets in two creeks close to Paradip Refinery have been blocking drainage of backwaters. Paradip Refinery had constructed a four-km road from the north direction of the facility to the south - passing through two creeks - for movement of its vehicles. The road is located on the rear side of the refinery. Besides, many fishermen of the block have erected bamboo fences in the creeks for fishing which are also blocking flow of water into the sea.
On Tuesday, Sarpanch of Mangrajpur Purnima Tripathy and her Gopikuda counterpart Nandini Panda met IOCL and Revenue department authorities seeking their intervention. Subsequently, a team of Paradip refinery officials led by GM Dharmesh Chaudhury visited the spot and found out that the road was blocking release of backwaters into the sea.
Though villagers had demanded to cut the road by 250 metre which could facilitate easy flow of backwaters, IOCL authorities cut only 15 ft (4.5 metre) in the middle of the road. IOCL officials refused to comment.Similarly, bamboo fences in the creeks are yet to be removed by the district administration.Kujang Tehsildar Pritiparna Mishra said many of the bamboo fences have been installed illegally and it is the responsibility of the Irrigation wing officials to remove them to prevent flooding.
Villagers swept away
Jagatsinghpur: District Fire Officer (in-charge) Kartik Biswal informed that two persons of Jagatsinghpur district including a woman have been swept away in Mahanadi river in the last two days. Umesh Mohanty of Jadtira village under Tirtol police limits was swept away in the river on Wednesday while Charulata Rout of Kaduapada village under Jagatsinghpur police limits drowned on Tuesday. They are still missing.