Flood-hit Odisha to repair breaches on war footing

No rain in state for 5-7 days: Met department

With the flood waters in Odisha’s rivers receding, the state government on Monday decided to repair breaches on a war footing before the next round of heavy rain and floods strikes.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting attended by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The state is currently in the mid-monsoon season.

“The chief minister has directed the repair of breaches on a war footing. Before the next round of floods, all breaches in different rivers will be closed,” state revenue and disaster management minister Bijoyshree Routray said.

Routray added that the water level is expected to recede from all affected villages in the next two days.

Special Relief Commissioner Pradipta Mohapatra, speaking on the repair operations, said: “The Met department has said that there may not be heavy rainfall in the next five to seven days. Therefore, we will get enough dry weather to repair both big as well as small breaches.” Mohapatra said teams would tackle small breaches first.

As many as 38 breaches in different rivers had inundated more than 5,000 villages in 23 flood-hit districts, forcing villagers to flee to safer ground or remain marooned. Nearly 3,00,000 in 294 villages were still marooned on Monday evening.

Of the 304 villages, 226 were in two of the worst flood-hit districts – Kendrapara and Puri – in the coastal belt of the state.

The special relief commissioner said marooned villages would continue to receive flood relief, with the Odisha government likely to provide aid for more than the earlier announced period of seven days.

Mohapatra said the post-flood environment was also being monitored to control water-borne diseases.

“Special medical teams are already stationed in all flood-hit districts. Besides, we are also holding special health camps,” Mohapatra said.

According to government figures, the current floods in different rivers affected as many as 33 lakh people from 134 blocks in 23 out of 30 districts.

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