Baliapal: The villagers here are panicky as the possibility of Subarnarekha river changing its course by eating into the riverbank at Kankadapal area of Chaumukha panchayat under Baliapal block in Balasore district is looming large day by day.
On the other hand, the master plan prepared by the Irrigation department to protect the nearby villages has not yet been implemented. Worthy to note, in the first phase stone-packing for 1,500-metre-long riverbank, with an estimated expenditure of Rs 15 crore was targeted, as a protective measure was envisaged in the master plan.
However, only Rs 3 crore was provided and stone-packing work for 400 metres could be completed with that. The Irrigation department has already communicated it to the state government about this situation, sources said.
Surprisingly, homestead lands of 127 families out of the total 327 in Kankadapal village have submerged in river water. The remaining 200 families are under flood threat.
Had the proposed dam been constructed here, the suffering families would have either got displacement compensation or a safer government allotted land elsewhere, villagers opined. The proposed dam construction still eludes, they said.
According to sources, tides strike hard Kankadapal village throughout the year. The village is located nearby the seashore and Subarnarekha river mouth. As a result, the villagers are losing their landed property and apprehend that gradually the entire village will wither away.
A local villager Subala Mohanty said, “The Subarnarekha river was earlier located 2 km away from Kankadapal village, which has now come closer to the village.” As his previous houses were washed away thrice by the river, he is now staying with his family in another house built on the land of his neighbour.
It is known that the houses of 127 villagers including Lakshmikant Das, Shyama Giri, Babula Mohanty, Purna Mohanty and Kanhu Mohanty were completely washed away during the last five years. Moreover, the 2-acre farmland of Mahendra Patra which was adjacent to his homestead land has now shrunk to only 10 decimal.