Rehab process starts for villagers hit by sea water

Berhampur: The rehabilitation process of 146 fishermen families at Podampeta in Ganjam district has started with work order given to beneficiaries under the `Mo Kudia` yojana for construction of houses, while at least 15 more houses were stated to be washed away by sea water in the coastal village, official sources said today.

Each beneficiary would get Rs 48,500 to construct house at a new site under the Odisha government sponsored housing scheme for the poor families. The beneficiaries were also provided patta for the new site at Podagada, about 3-km from Podampeta.

MP (Berhampur) Sidhant Mohaptra and MLA (Chhatrapur) Adikandh Sethi distributed work orders to the beneficiaries at a function at Podampeta yesterday. Senior government officials attended the function.

"Shifting of the families to the safer place was the long-standing demand of the villagers. Now they will feel secure at last," said the MLA.

"We think the families of fishermen will shift in the next one week," said district collector Krishan Kumar.

The administration will provide infrastructure facilities, while the people will only construct their own houses, said an officer. "Electricity will be provided to the new village under Biju Gramya Jyoti Yojana (BGJY) after completion of the houses," he added.

The village was vulnerable as sea erosion was taking place here rapidly. While around 30 houses were destroyed due to the high tidal wave in the last month, at least 15 more houses were allegedly destroyed now as the sea water entered into the village on Monday night, official sources said.