Jajpur/Bari: The flood in Baitarani and Brahmani rivers in Jajpur district is being stated the most devastating flood in the 21st century, a report said.
The claim is not unfounded as this flood has affected over 9, 81,245 people in 836 villages of 180 panchayats across 10 blocks. Moreover, the flood has claimed the lives of five people while the casualty among livestock is 14,898 in the district.
Notably, the state has suffered five major floods during the last 15 years. This has led to huge loss of lives and properties and broken the financial backbone of the people which is predominantly an agricultural district.
The district recorded 341.2mm normal rainfall in August but it has received 695.82mm rainfall due to change in climatic conditions, experts opine. The flood occurred in the district due to heavy rainfall in the upper catchment areas of Baitarani and Brahmani rivers.
Observers claimed error in designing of river embankments and sub-standard works has led to recurrence of flood in the district year after year. Moreover, apathetic attitude of political representatives and department officials and favouritsm shown to contractors has resulted in this impasse.
Sources said the district faced a major flood in 2005 in which over 1.40 lakh people in 220 villages of Jajpur and neighbouring Bhadrak district were affected. Later, in 2011 flood affected over 4,91,114 people and 2,61,540 livestock in 499 villages of the district. Cultivation in 27,615 hectare of farmland was damaged. At least 13 persons died while 8,221 houses were fully damaged.
Over 1,07,317 people in 229 village were severely affected in 2015-flood while 1,24,076 persons in 132 villages were affected in 2017-flood. Three people also died in the 2017-flood.
However, this year’s flood is the most devastating which has caused untold sufferings for the people living in riparian villages of the district.
Locals alleged that the then state Revenue minister Maheswar Mohanty had sought a report in August 2017 on the damaged river embankments and the loss of life and properties.
In past, several ministers and political leaders during their visits to the district have promised to take up repairing and strengthening of the weak embankments in the district. Moreover, crores have been sanctioned in this regard but nothing has been done as people continue to suffer as before, they claimed.