Bhograi: Every monsoon, the Subarnarekha river plays havoc in north Balasore, causing massive floods in its basin. Recurrent floodings batter the agrarian economy of downstream areas such as Bhograi, Baliapal, Jaleswar Basta and six panchayats of Mayurbhanj district.
Despite this, an ambitious renovation project for the river could not be taken up due to the bureaucracy for years. If the project is executed, it would help in containing floods in the downstream areas to a great extent.
Given the havoc caused by floods havoc every year, the renovation project should be taken up for consideration, locals demanded. The Subarnarekha river emerges from the Chhotanagpur Plateau in Jharkhand and flows through a 360-km course before entering Balasore.
Every year, frequent floods have been damaging crops in the above said blocks of Balasore and parts of Mayurbhanj district. Locals pointed out that Jharkhand has been making use of Subarnarekha water for agriculture by setting up Chandil dam, Galudihi, Khadkhai and Bankbal barrages.
These have helped the neighbouring state in containing floods in the upstream areas. During floods, the neighboring state has an edge over Odisha. It releases floodwater from the Chandil dam and the barrages, leaving the downstream areas in Odisha to face the fury of flood, they said.
In the past, there were several instances of floods in north Balasore after Jharkhand released water from the Chandil dam. Many villages in the downstream areas have vanished or suffered irreparable damages.
The UPA government planned flood control measures in Subarnarekha river to protect the lives and properties of people living in downstream areas. Subsequently, the Central government asked the state government to draw a detailed project report on its renovation.
The Odisha government has submitted a project report on Subarnarekha renovation at an estimated cost of Rs 900 core. However, the Central government found the report faulty and returned it to the state. Since then, it has been in cold storage.
On the other hand, floodwater from rivers in East and West Medinapore districts in West Bengal reportedly wreak havoc in Jaleswar, Bhograi and Baliapal areas.