Jagatsinghpur: Torrential rainfall triggered by low pressure in the Bay of Bengal breached the already damaged embankments of River Devi in Nuagaon village here in this district.
With more rain expected to lash the state, villagers fear collapse of embankments and a flood-like situation.
According to sources, many embankments in several other riverside villages were damaged last year during the monsoon. However, many of these structures are yet to be repaired.
Even after repeated complaints, officials turned a deaf ear to the villagers’ plea. Now, the embankments’ precarious condition has put the villagers’ life in risk.
Four rivers — Mahanadi, Chitrotopla, Devi and Biluakhai — flow through the district. While Mahanadi Division looks after these four rivers, their tributaries are under the control of Jagatsinghpur Irrigation Division.
Some of the weak embankments of Devi and Biluakhai rivers are at Nichipur, Narapari, Beherasahi, Mundilo, Ghadimula, Eksudha, Patenigaon near Dhuleswar temple, Salanti Korua Gheri embankment at Jagatsinghpur block and Kolar, Salagaon, Phulhar, Belabana, Tuembeswar, Angeswarpada, Bachalo, Bhandisahi, and Sikhar under Nuagaon block.
The embankments in other villages are also on the verge of collapse due to non-repair and many villagers living in the vicinity have been spending sleepless nights.
Sarpanch of Sikhar panchayat, Akshay Kumar Jena, said the 2-km-long embankment on Devi from Bilipada to Angeswarpada is in a poor condition. Although lakhs of rupees were spent on its repair last year, there was no improvement in the embankment condition due to substandard work, he said. Stone packing was done at the embankment in Bainapada and Angeswarpada but River Devi has washed it away.
Executive Engineer of Irrigation Wing, Umakanta Mohanty, said vulnerable points have been identified on Devi’s embankment at Bhandisahi, Podaria, Sribantapur, Kalarabank and a proposal has been sent to the state government to repair them at a cost of Rs 38 crore.