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Sharmili Mallick

Sonepur: Heavy rain and subsequent flooding in river Nibruti that damaged the houses and destroyed crops in Narda village under Tarbha Tehsil of Sonepur district have thrown life out of gear for the villagers. However, no help has reached these villagers even though it has been four days since water receded.

Losing all hope villagers have started reconstructing their damaged houses on their own. While some are seen drying the paddy they had managed to save from the floodwaters, others are still awaiting help from government to reach them.

"The flood has severely affected our lives. Almost all houses and crops in huge tracts of agricultural land in the village have been damaged in the flood. We are forced to live outside our houses. I request the government to take steps for our rehabilitation," a flood victim of Narda, Pratap Nag said.

Another flood affected woman Damyanti said, "Before we could think anything, floodwater entered the village. We have incurred huge losses."

Reports said, due to heavy rain in the upper stream of Nibruti River in Bolangir district, the check dam of the village collapsed last week. As a result, floodwater entered the village and was flowing 15-feet high forcing the villagers to leave their houses and shift to safer places.

The students are also affected as their books and other study materials have been damaged due to the water entering their homes.

Tukuni Sahu, a student, said, “The sudden flood submerged our houses and rendered us homeless. It destroyed my books and certificates. I am worried how I will continue my studies."

Meanwhile, Tarbha Tehsildar Soubhagya Ranjan Panda informed that a flood damage assessment will be carried out after which the victims will be provided help for repairing their houses.

"Around 11 gram panchayats were affected by the flood and 21 villages in those gram panchayats bore the maximum brunt. We have made arrangements for the rehabilitation of the people residing in school and flood shelters," said Panda.

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