BARIPADA: The swollen Budhabalanga river continues to raise flood fear among people of Mayurbhanj though rainfall has subsided in the district. A 47-year-old resident of Asanasole village under Sarashkana block died after a rain-soaked wall of his house collapsed on him on Tuesday night as waterlogging woes continued. The deceased was identified as Ram Singh.
People of Dangadiha village on the foothills of Similipal Tiger Reserve under Karanjia sub-division were cut-off from the district headquarters after a makeshift bamboo bridge was washed away in the strong current of Salandi river on the day. The bridge was their only link to Thakurmunda town. No official has yet reached the village which is home to 800 people.
At Hatibari village under Karanjia block, 50 students of Dudiani residential UP school were stranded due to waterlogging. The entire campus was under knee-deep water following incessant rains in the last three days. Later with the help of locals, teachers of the school shifted students to safety.
Vehicular communication to many areas in the district has also been affected with water overtopping the roads. The road link between Udala and Baripada has been snapped as water from Simlipal National Park is flowing over Naluha bridge on State Highway 19.
The situation is equally grim in Baripada town where water from Jarali and Sarali rivers entered Madhuban area in Ward 7 and led to a flood-like situation at 5.30 am.While 200 families of Madhuban were shifted to a flood shelter by the administration, some others have set up tents on Baripada-Udala State Highway. People of Wards 4,8,9,10,11 and 14 are spending sleepless nights due to rising water level of the two rivers that flow through the town.
Locals said course of the rivers - which drain in Budhabalanga - have constricted over the years due to encroachments and are unable to carry flood water into the Budhabalanga. Secretary of Madhuban development committee Bikram Keshari Jena said the encroachments on banks of both the rivers need to be cleared and a proper drainage plan put in place to avoid urban flooding in the area.
Baripada Sub-Collector Anny Das, also the executive officer of Baripada Municipality, said that people who have been evacuated are being provided cooked food thrice in a day. Karanjia Sub-Collector Rajanikanta Biswal informed that the BDO and Tehsildar were sent to Dangadiha village through forest route to take stock of the situation and provide dry ration to villagers.
Against the danger level of 30.92 metre at Poda Astia near Baripada town, Budhabalanga river has been flowing at 29 metre, informed Dilip Kumar Rout, Executive Engineer of Mayurbhanj irrigation division.