Aradi: Salandi river has been eroding its banks at some places in Aradi panchayat under Chandbali block of Bhadrak. Absence of stone packing on the embankments is allegedly responsible for collapse of river banks in the area. Continuous bank collapse has triggered panic among people living in riparian villages of the panchayat. According to the reports, with torrential rains and rising water level in Salandi, a portion of the river bank caved in Tuesday at Shitalpur while a major portion of a house collapsed along with the bank.
In February this year, a portion of the bank along with some trees had also been washed away. Foundation of some nearby houses in the same area had sunk. The then Collector Trilochan Majhi visited the spot and took stock of the situation. He had directed the top officials of the Jajpur Irrigation division to build stone-packed embankments to prevent further erosion. Besides, Majhi had asked members of five families living on the river banks to shift to safer places.
On the other hand, local people alleged that a contractor who was awarded the work of stone-packing the embankment has only dumped a few truck-loads of murram at the weak patch and work has not moved forward beyond that. A few days back, some officials of the Irrigation department held talks with the villagers and assured financial assistance to the families that have lost their houses due to collapse of the river bank. The officials had hinted that work of the embankment would start in November.
However, the recent collapse of the river bank has robbed the villagers of their sleep. Contacted, junior engineer of the Irrigation department Kishore Das said that he was unaware of the bank erosion. “Some houses at the place were prone to collapse. There was discussion on this with the families a week ago. The embankment work will start in next two months,” he added.