Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: With situation in several districts of Odisha still remaining vulnerable due to floods that followed cyclonic storm Titli, the Opposition has criticised the inefficient measures of the state government alleging that despite IMD forecast on October 9 on Titli and the subsequent flood situation in Odisha, the government failed to tackle the situation.

BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra ridiculed saying, “This shows the state government’s tall claims are artificial. They have completely failed to take stock of the situation which is why people in several districts of Odisha, especially in CM Naveen’s Ganjam district are grappling with flood situation.”

Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik took to Twitter and said, “BJD is patting its own back by saying they have handled CycloneTitli well but this is far from reality. Truth is that govt was caught napping despite several warnings from Met Dept. Thousands are stranded in affected areas. They must be helped immediately.”

Responding to BJP allegations, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, “Opposition should maintain a level of sensibility and humanity. BJP is trying to politicise things during such a serious situation. It is seriously condemnable.”

Meanwhile, sources said flood-situation is expected to normalise soon as river-water levels have started to decrease slowly with dry conditions prevailing in the flood-hit districts since yesterday. However, situation in Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts still remains vulnerable where the remote areas have been cut off due to the incessant rains that followed the cyclonic storm Titli.

As many as 14 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 12 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams have been deployed in various districts, said sources.

Also, two Indian Navy helicopters from Vishakapatnam have been pressed into action to expedite the relief and rescue operations.

Reports further claimed Ganjam district has been worst affected by the flood waters with places including Bhanjanagar, Sorada, Dharakote, Aska, Purushottampur and Seragada still marooned.

Meanwhile, water is flowing above danger level in Budhabalanga and Baitarani Rivers.

As per reports, Budhabalanga is currently flowing at 8.22 metres against the danger mark of 8.13 metres at Barunighat in Balasore, as a result of which, low lying areas of Sadar block have been inundated. Baitarani River, on the other hand, is flowing at 18.03 metres against the danger mark of 17.83 metres near Akhuapada in Bhadrak district.

Sources said three-member ministerial committee constituting Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty, Water Resources Minister Niranjan Pujari and Energy Minister Sushant Singh have left for Ganjam to monitor rescue, relief and restoration operations in the district. The committee's first meeting is likely to be held in Chatrapur to decide on the future course of action.

Ministers Sashi Bhusan Behera and Ramesh Majhi also left for Kandhamal district to monitor the relief and restoration operations.