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Rashmi Ranjan

Gajapti: It was nightmare to remember for a lifetime for many in Odisha when on this very day in 2018, relled through the southern parts of Odisha causing enormous devastation.

Two years on, memories of the nightmarish encounter with the nature's raw fury may have taken a back seat in the minds of people but not the pain and anguish that it inflicted on the lives of people.

Rayagada block in Gajapati district was probably one of the worst hit regions by the cyclone but even though a considerable period of time has passed, the tribal belt is struggling to recover from the devastation incurred by the storm.

Take for example, the Tamatara village under Gandahati panchayat of the block. Locals of the area narrate how the cyclone completely damaged their life and livelihood forever crippling dozens of houses, vegetation, forest cover and disrupted electricity and all kinds of communication channels.

Though the district administration launched evacuation drive and rehabilitated some families from the hill top a day after the cyclone, as many as 25 families still continue to live atop the hill without basic amenities like electricity.

The hilltop residents say that they are reluctant to leave behind their lands and move downhill despite the horror of witnessing nature unleashing its anger.

“We are living a very miserable life without electricity, drinking water. Moreover, the house we are living in are in very dilapidated condition but we are not sure how we will move somewhere else leaving behind our house, land along with good and bad memories,” said Narahari Sabar, a local.

“The government has failed to provide electricity and potable water in the area. The water being supplied to the village but is of substandard quality,” said Haribandhu Kargi, former sarpanch of Gangabada panchayat.

Reacting on the development, district collector Anupam Shah said efforts are being made to provide electricity connection to the village.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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