A poorly conceived plan by some villagers to store rainwater in an alleged attempt to avail loans under a government scheme has resulted in the inundation of the entire village in Bhadrak district of Odisha.
Now, the 10 families in Sankhua village, under Niyami Panchayat of Bhandaripokhari block, who are living under knee-deep water, face an imminent threat of their mud houses crashing down any moment if the administration did not act promptly to drain out the stagnant water.
It all happened when a few villagers decided to dig a pond and an embankment so as to store rainwater to be used for future use in the village. But due to wrong planning, they ended up digging the pit in the opposite direction of the slope. The excavated soil blocked the passage of the rainwater which entered into the fields. Due to incessant rains, the water level rose and entered the village.
Now, the village, situated at a lower level, has accumulated knee-deep water with no possibility of drainage. As a result, the water has sipped the mud walls of the houses which would collapse any moment.
Baishnaba Behera resident of the village said “Few locals of our village are to be blamed for this. They dug the pit without a proposal or planning just because the government was giving away loans for rainwater harvesting. Due to their folly, now the whole village is underwater and hungry. The situation is a health emergency too as hygiene medical attention is a far cry.”
Sebati Behera, another villager alleged that though the water has accumulated in the village for over a month now, the Sarpanch has turned a blind eye to the plight of the villagers. “He is not even responding to our calls for help. The health of our children and families is getting worse day by day due to poor hygienic conditions and we are completely helpless” she added.
Meanwhile, when contacted, the BDO at Bhandaripokhari refused to comment on the issue.