Paradip, Nov 10 (LocalWire): Villagers of sea side villages in Jagatsinghpur district are living in fear due to the frequent cyclones and with no cyclone shelters built here despite requests.
Interestingly, there are eight blocks in this district. Out of eight blocks, cyclone shelters have been built in six blocks but there are no cyclone shelters in Jagatsinghpur and Raghunathpur blocks. During cyclone, the people of these two blocks take shelter in private houses or educational institutions but they have been deprived of free kitchens and other relief materials.
Sandhkuda, a fishing village with 15,000 people, is situated just 500 meters away from sea. During the super cyclone in 1999, the village was completely wiped out and nearly 900 people killed. But even after 20 years of the super cyclone, nothing has been done to set up cyclone shelters for the safety of the people.
After super cyclone, nearly 593 schools-cum cyclone shelters were built in this district out of which many have developed cracks on roofs causing water leakage with damaged doors and windows due to sub-standard work and villagers are unwilling to take shelter in these shelters due to lack of safety.
Without any cyclone shelter, administration has been forced to shift them to nearby cyclone shelters at Biju Maidan in Paradip port.
This cyclone shelter is two to three kms away from this village and villagers are reluctant to shift to this cyclone shelter by leaving their assets and properties.
Realizing their plight, Damodar Rout had laid the foundation stone for the construction of a cyclone shelter in 2006 but neither the state government nor the authority of Paradip Port Trust have come forward to construct it.
There are hundreds of villages under Erasama and Balikuda blocks situated near the sea but nothing has been done to set up cyclone shelters for them.
Despite frequent demands by villagers, submission of proposal by the local BDO and after suggestions of IIT, Khargpur to erect cyclone shelters for the safety of cyclone-prone villagers, nothing has been done for the 150 sea side villages in Erasama, Balikuda areas, within one km from sea.
Earlier, Erasama block had sent proposals to the state government to construct 16 cyclone shelters in 2015 but nothing has been done in this regard.
Sarpanch of Janakadeipur, Naramada Pal, said, ‘this panchyat under Erasama block has no cyclone shelter. Due to dilapidated condition of the school building, hundreds of Bengali communities are staying in private buildings during cyclones. We have sought the intervention of the administration to set up cyclone shelters but nothing has been done in this regard.’
Deputy Collector (emergency) Kalayn Saurav Das confessed ‘there are no cyclone shelters in both Raghunathpur and Jagasinghpur block. This district has 21 cyclone shelters and 21 flood shelters so administration has sent a proposal to the state government and OSDMA to build cyclone shelters after cyclone Fani.’