Jajpur: The Water Resources department has sought a detailed report from the chief engineer and basin manager of the R&B department on the ongoing construction of a concrete wall alongside the left embankment of the Baitarani river in Jajpur district.
This comes in the wake of a case filed at the National Green Tribunal (NGT) by a local outfit – ‘Bhandaripokhari Banya Biparyasta Surakhya Samiti’. In its complaint, the outfit stated that the concrete embankment of the Baitarani river will pose more flood threats to several areas in Bhadrak district. On the other hand, the embankment will only provide relief in some areas of Jajpur district from flood fury, the complaint further said.
Hearing the case, the NGT has observed that the concrete embankments can be constructed only after getting environmental clearance.
Following a directive from the NGT, the Water Resources department has sought a detailed report from its officials.
The convener of the outfit, Akshay Kumar Tripathy and other local people had sent a complaint October 5 to the Chief Secretary in this connection. They said that building the concrete embankment will be a risk for people in other districts.
Notably, a sum of Rs 50 crore has been sanctioned for construction of eight kilometres long concrete embankment. It was alleged that there is a plan to float three tenders for a construction of similar project on the right side of Baitarani river near Akhapada.
The Water Resources department has taken up several others projects in the Baitarani riverbed. These have resulted in natural flow of floodwater in the river.
During floods, the concrete embankment will shrink the flow of floodwater, confining it to just 700 to 1,000 metres in width, instead of the 5 km width.
It is also apprehended that the concrete embankment will cause the river to change its course dangerously in Bhaandaripohari and Bhadrak blocks although floodwater will not affect most parts of Jajpur.
Another barrage project under construction in Jajpur at a cost of Rs 216 crore will also result in floods in Bhadrak, it was stated. People in most parts of Bhandaripokhari, Dhamnagar, Tihidi and Chandbali blocks will face danger of massive floods during the monsoon.
However, R&B executive engineer of Jajpur, Arun Kumar Patnaik said that the concrete wall will in no way harm Bhadrak district. “Flow of floodwater in Baitarani will be as usual. The next step will be taken only after obtaining environmental clearance,” he added.