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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Odisha: relief operations in Ganjam hit due to rains

PTI  Berhampur, October 27, 2013
First Published: 20:17 IST(27/10/2013) | Last Updated: 20:24 IST(27/10/2013)

Relief operations in the flood-ravaged Ganjam district was affected as rains continued to lash the district, even as authorities announced that schools in the district would remain closed till October 30, officials said on Sunday.

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Chief minister Naveen Patnaik was scheduled to tour the district on Sunday but the visit was cancelled due to rains.

The district was devastated by the cyclone Phailin about a fortnight ago and is now affected by flood and rains over the past one week.

All the 22 blocks of the district were affected by flood and though water level in major rivers were receding, many people were still marooned.

The river Bagi, a tributary of Bahuda, breached a bundh at Digapur in Patrapur area flood water entered the village. Chief engineer-cum-basin manager (Rushikuly, Nagabali and Vansdhara) RN Swain rushed to the spot.

"Similar situation was also reported from Aska, Dharakote, Sorada, Sheragada,Bhanjanagar and Digapahandi blocks. The damage is very heavy and we are yet to assess," the chief engineer said.

Several organisations are distributing cooked food to the victims in the district.

Meanwhile, schools in the district would remain closed till October 30 as the situation is yet to improve, said district education officer SK Patra.

The classes will start from October 31. Earlier, the government had declared that the schools will remain closed till Sunday.

Official sources said over 1700 schools were damaged in the district due to the cyclone Phailin which hit the district on October 12.

However, several school teachers in the district have expressed doubts whether it would be possible to conduct the classes even from October 31 as the damaged school buildings are yet to be repaired.

Moreover, rescue teams like firemen, Odisha Disaster Raoid Action Force and National Disaster Response Force are accommodated in school buildings.

In several places, the classrooms are also occupied by flood victims as the district administration has opened relief camps there.

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Choosing not to celebrate his birthday, Naveen Patnaik was holding rehabilitation and relief meetings with senior officials with focus on restoring electricity in the worst-affected Ganjam district. He spoke to Shishir Gupta in an exclusive interview in Bhubhaneshwar.

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