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Sharmili Mallick

Due to the incessant rains in the upper catchment area of Jalaka River, the river was flowing more than two metres above the danger level at Mathani in Balasore district on Wednesday triggering flood threat in the region. 

The water level of Jalaka River was at 7.18 metre mark against the danger level of 5.50 metres, as per data recorded this morning.

As a result, as many as 12 panchayats, including Patrajhada, Sadanandapur, Baharda, Mathani, Dudhahansa, Rautpada, Gadapada, Kudia, Basichakurai, Darada, Brahmanda, Barunagadia under Basta block in the district have remained marooned.

The residents of Rasulpur and Srirampur panchayats under Sadar block of Balasore district are also suffering as floodwater has entered the village affecting communication in the region.

Meanwhile, the local residents of Basta and Sadar blocks said that if rainfall continues in the upper stream of Jalaka, the river embankment might collapse at any time as the repair works of the embankment have not been taken up since the last ten years.

“The Jalaka River is flowing above the danger level at present. Though water is flowing below the level of the river embankment and has not damaged the embankment yet, we are afraid the embankment might collapse if rainfall continues. Over 12 panchayats will be affected if flood water breaches the embankment. The local administration has not taken any step in this regard yet,” alleged Surjya Sahoo, a local resident. 

On the other hand, the officials of the water resources department said that sandbags have been kept ready to fill the weak portion of the river embankment.

Tehsildar, Kartik Das said “The water has inundated farmland in some places of the two blocks but the water is yet to rise to the roads. We expect the river will recede soon. The local authorities have made adequate arrangements and alerted people to shift to nearby schools if water enters their houses,” Das added.

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