While the state government officials have been claiming improvement in flood situation in Odisha for the past three days, not much seem to have changed for the affected people.
On the eighth day of it run Sunday, the flood has affected 3.9 million people and destroyed crops on more than 300,000 hectares of crop land while the death toll rose to 45.
“We have opened 168 relief camps/free kitchen and covered 1.11 lakh beneficiaries,” Odisha special relief commissioner said.
But government help seemed to be a little late in coming and cry for relief was visible wherever HT visited.
The entire population of 1000 of Gharachhia village under Kanasa block of Puri moved out because the houses were completely submerged in flood water. “We have been spending rainy nights by the river banks as very few people could be accommodated at the relief shelter. The administration’s free kitchen started on the eighth day of the flood, though we had been given some dry foods earlier,” said Bhalu Jena of Jharachhia.
More than 1.60 lakh people in Puri have been affected by flood. Floodwater of the Daya river has completely deluged around 50 villages under Kanasa. The
administration has deployed about 20 boats for movement of people and relief materials.
The economically stable villagers in Kanasa block area were not prepared for the devastating flood that unleashed it on them following a huge breach in an embankment.
Judhistira Samantaray, 70, of Dokanda village said he had seen six major floods in his entire life. “But the present one has surpassed all. We lost out on the last Rabi crop as there was no supply of water in the canal. Now the flood has destroyed our Kharif crop and milk production,” he said.