Fani Aftermath: Fishermen in Chilika yet to get relief

Chilika: Damaged houses, grounded fishing boats and snapped fishing nets- all these describe the current scenario in villages close to Chilika Lake post the severe cyclonic storm Fani. Left with almost nothing, the severely affected fishermen are still waiting for relief materials even as 11 days have passed by.

Amid tall claims of the State government on relief and restoration work post Fani, the locals here alleged that they not only have lost their houses and livelihood in the cyclone, but even lack basic needs like food, water and power supply in the area.

“We lost our houses, fishing boats and nets in the cyclone. Now we are living in a polythene-covered small make-shift house with much difficulty. Fishing being the only sources of income, we have now lost our livelihood. Besides, there is no food, water and electricity supply in our village,” alleged Garia Behera, a local fisherman.

Fishermen residing in Krushnaprasad and nearby villages including Mirjapur, Rayapur, Gobakundasa Sanapatna and Arakhakuda close to Chilika Lake also alleged that they have not received any relief material. Besides, they claimed that none of the concerned government officials visited their locality to assess the damage caused by Fani.

“We run our house and meet the expenses of our children’s education only by fishing in Chilika Lake, but now we have lost almost all our boats and fishing nets. Neither any government officials visited this area, nor has anyone sent any relief material. How long we will borrow from others to live?” questioned another fisherman Prasanna Behera.

Government officials are yet to respond.