Rising sea level threats life of people in Orissa

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Satabhaya (Orissa), Dec 16 (ANI): People settled in and around the coastal region of Satabhaya in Kendrapara District of Orissa are on the verge of losing their homes due to extensive soil erosion by the increasing water level in the sea.

Until a decade ago the arable land at Satabhaya, catering to the needs of seven villages measured nearly 320 square kilometres in area.

However, now the land has been drastically reduced to 175 square kilometres and the villages number just two due to the erosion by the tidal waves of the Bay of Bengal.

Villagers of Kendrapara are totally clueless about the unusual behaviour of the sea. They complain that the politicians visit only prior to the elections with big promises but none of them has been fulfilled till date.

Villagers have blamed the local administration of turning a blind eye to the issue of their relocation to safer places.

"The sea water always enters this area every year due to which the salt content of the land increases. Due to this increased content of salt, the land becomes unsuitable for cultivation and we have to shift our houses from one place to another," said Janakar Pradhan, a villager.

Floods, cyclones and high tidal waves have become a part and parcel of these hapless villagers' lives.They have to tolerate both the wrath of nature and the apathy of the local administration.

Kendrapara District Collector Sisir Kanta Panda says : "We have already made assessments to rehabilitate the affected families and have discussed the budget provisions for the land development, water facilities, electricity, houses, roads and schools in these areas. At present we have rehabilitated 710 families till now. Till the month of June every will be in order."

xperts say that the soilerosion took place in the early seventies due to the reduction of the forest areas, which earlier used to act as a barrier between the sea and the villages.

But now with the depletion of the forest area, the sea has started eating up the dry lands in the region.

Satabhaya in Orissa was one of the largest deltas in Orissa and home to diverse flora and fauna. (ANI)

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