Kendrapara, Feb 7 (LocalWire): Around 65 sea-erosion hit families of Satabhaya Gram Panchayat in the Kendrapara district are yet to be rehabilitated although the government rehabilitated 571 families at the rehabilitation colony at Bagapatia 12 kilometers from the sea two years ago.
“Many villagers under the Satabhaya Panchayat were rehabilitated in the colony at Bagapatia. But the authorities are yet to provide me a land far away from the sea,” a local of Satabhaya, Bishucharana Behera (50), informed LocalWire.
The 17 kilometre stretch of the beach at the seaside is said to be the fastest-eroding beach on the Odisha coast. More than 1000 homes and large tracts of agricultural land have been wiped out by rising sea levels within 40 years.
“Initially, Satabhaya was a cluster of seven villages. But now, only a little portion of Satabhaya remains while the other six villages of Gobindapur, Mohanpur, Kanhupur, Chintamanipur, Badagahiramatha and Kharikula have already disappeared from the map. Being a resident of the remote Satabhaya village, life becomes melancholic,” said Binakar Rout (50) of Satabhaya.
Rout further informed LocalWire that his father and two brothers have already got houses in the rehabilitation colony but he has been going places to book one for himself since the past two years now. “The sea has been coming closer and closer every day. Not much is left of our village,” he added.
Another resident of the village bemoaned how they are still living in the dark ages while surviving on kerosene lamps and how sanitation remains a big problem for them.
The marching sea consumed the last two tube-wells in the village of Satabhaya due to which the villagers have been suffering. “We have no water to drink at all.
We trek around three kilometres to the nearby village of Barahapur to collect water from the tube-wells over there,” informed Trilochana Behera (45) of Satabhaya.
Large tracts of Satabhaya have been wiped out by the rising sea levels for which the government had rehabilitated 571 families two years ago.
When contacted, Samarth Verma, the Collector of Kendrapara said, “We will soon rehabilitate other families of Satabhaya. Some families are still staying in Satabhaya for fishing and farming purposes.”.
Edited by Meenal Singh