Jagatsinghpur, May 6 (LocalWire): Irate residents demonstrated and blocked different places on the Cuttack-Nuagaon NH paralysing vehicular traffic for more than six hours.
They complained of irregularities and negligence by district officials in identifying damage to cyclone-affected blocks.
Eleven lakh people, 3.28 lakh cattle and 1.30 lakh other domestic animals of 1308 villages under 198 panchayats have been severely affected by cyclone Fani but officials were declaring several of the eight blocks as partially damaged instead of fully-damaged without even visiting them, they complained.
Even after four days of the cyclone, people did not receive relief materials, polythene sheets and other benefits and are living in a sorry condition. Neither the district administration nor the state government have paid any importance towards their plight forcing them to take to the streets to air their grievances.
Roads were blocked at Ankhia, Dogchia, Biridi, Pandia and other locations of Cuttack Nuagaon NH.
Later, Biridi police accompanied by the sub-Collector, Mahednra Prasad Mohanty, rushed to the spot and pacified the villagers and they called off their stir.
Hundreds of women in ward no 10 of Jagatsinghpur Municipality demonstrated and squatted on mass dharna in front of municipality office for not supplying relief materials and polythene. Deputy Collector (emergency) Kalyan Saurbha Das said ‘out of the eight blocks, Biridi, Naugaon and Raghunathpur blocks have been declared as fully damaged while rest of the blocks Jagatsinghpur, Balikuda, Erasama, Kujang, Tirtol and two municipalities Jagatsinghpur and Paradip have been declared as partially damaged by cyclone Fani’.
Villagers also complained of scarcity of vegetables and sky high prices that added to their woes. Acute shortage of drinking water also affected the people in rural areas.
The prices of vegetables including potatoes have increased manifold after the cyclone. Potatoes are being sold at Rs 40 per kg while brinjal, ladies finger, tomato, onion and other vegetables are being sold at Rs 40 to Rs 50 and are out of the reach of the poor.
Similarly, the rate of essential commodities particularly kerosene has been sold at the rate of Rs 70 to 80 in rural areas
People alleged that there is artificial shortage of essential commodities and other vegetables by unscrupulous traders. Neither administration nor civil supply department has yet taken any steps to check the rate of vegetables and other essential commodities, they complained.
‘Joint verification will be conducted by the revenue inspector to assess crop loss. Compensation of Rs 6,800 per hectare on rain-fed land will be given to affected farmers, Rs 13,500 on irrigated land Rs 18,000 per hectare on crops like mango, jackfruits,’ deputy Director, Agriculture, Ram Chandra Nayak said.
To mitigate the drinking water problem, administration has taken different steps to supply drinking water. There are 255 pipe water projects and digital generators will help supply in 31 pipe water projects, 14 projects by solar pump sets.
45 tankers have been pressed into service to affected people while 13,704 tube wells have been activated to supply drinking water.