Ganjam: Fishermen in Podampeta village at Palibandha panchayat near Rushikulya mouth of Ganjam district have been living in the dread of losing their land and livelihood as high tidal waves are fast creeping in towards the village eating the coast away.
Meanwhile, with the sea surface always remaining rough near the river mouth and high tidal waves constantly lashing the coast, six families of fishermen that still live in the village are counting their days in apprehension that they will be rendered homeless.
The tidal waves are fast eroding the coastline and it is apprehended that it may soon gobble up the remaining six houses in the village.
They fear that the tidal waves may wash away their houses and belongings anytime. Such has been the erosion that the houses are crumbling like a pack of cards while the distance between the sea and Podampeta village has reduced from two kilometres to just a few metres now.
Reports said that the district administration rehabilitated around 99 per cent of the residents at safer places elsewhere after the village witnessed faster erosion due to ingress of the turbulent sea.
However, six families of fishermen were left out of the housing scheme and still continue to live in the village. The roaring sound of the sea haunts them and deprives them of a peaceful sleep at night.
“We are living in the village in an atmosphere of trepidation and nightmare resigned to our fate,” said family members of fishermen J Sukanti, L Bhimadara, L Ashis, CH Trinath, L Sriram and B Babaji.
They claimed to have seen houses crumbling one after another on full moon days and new moon nights and this fear continues to haunt them.
They alleged that recent cyclonic storm Asani destroyed several pucca houses and mangrove forest and resulted in a change of the landscape.
Sources said that the district administration initially rehabilitated around 102 families at Siddharth Nagar on the foothills of Dumunagiri 2013.
Later, it rehabilitated 370 families at ODRP Colony. Demands are being made in various quarters to relocate the remaining six families at safer locations by providing them a house either under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana or Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana.