Kendrapara: Climate change is taking a heavy toll on Satabhayaya villages under Rajanagar block in Kendrapara district. Panchubarahi temple in the area is close to vanishing amid sand owing to sea erosion. Some coconut trees that towered over the coastal landscape have lost their existence.
Gobindapur, Mohanpur, Kharikula, Chintamanipur and Badagahiramatha have vanished into the sea while Kanpur disappeared in 2011.
A tube well near the temple is buried under a growing sand dune. Acres of farmlands in these seven villages which were main sources of livelihood are sand cast.
On the other hand, 571 families of the picturesque seven coastal villages who were victims of climate change and massive coastal erosion engulfing major areas have been shifted and resettled at Bagapatia – a low lying area close to the troubled site, by 2018.
Only a few families are clinging to their traditional homeland at Barahipur.
But they are facing crisis in the livelihood as they have not been provided farmlands till date. Reports said, their farmlands have not been compensated with provision new lands eligible for farming.
Environmentalists like Biswajit Mohanty, Hemanata Rout and Laxmidhar Swain said Satabhaya is a small sample of climate changeinduced coastal erosion for about 12 km.
Mangrove forests at Satabhaya and Kanpur have vanished, using in coastal erosion. They observed that the forest department should take steps for creating mangroves in the area so as to prevent sea erosion.
Besides, the government should make use of the area for the tourism sectors by setting up cottages at Habelikhati.
Despite sea erosion, new mangrove forest is being generated from Pentha to Satabhaya, he added. DFO Bikash Ranjan Das said plantation has been undertaken in Satabhaya.
On the other side, many other villagers, who were earlier dependent on catching fish for their livelihood, have also suffered setbacks as many of them are now bound to buy the products from the market.
It is said that most farmers have lost their agriculture lands in the process, but most of them still continue to visit their lost habitats at Satabhaya by boats.
As for land, ADM Basant Kumar Rout said 148 families of Satabhaya had applied for relocation at Bagapatia. After investigation, they will be rehabilitated, he added.