Fani-hit Balanga in Puri stares at long road to normalcy

Puri: Like several other villages, Balanga in Puri district has borne the brunt of Fani fury. With massive devastation, the face of the village has completely changed after the cyclone. Apart from residential houses, several government infrastructure including schools, college and hospital in the area have sustained heavy losses and the village is staring at a long road to normalcy.

While most of the people have been rendered homeless by Fani, several government establishments also have been ravaged by the cyclone affecting normal life. “We cannot express in words how the cyclone affected us. We have been living in the veranda of this shop since the cyclone,” said a woman of the village.

“We have seen the Super Cyclone, Phailin and Titli. However, we had never witnessed such fury of nature as we did during cyclone Fani,” said Gagan Bihari Sahu, another Balanga resident.

The Government Nodal High School in Balanga, where hundreds of students used to study now looks like a deserted relic. “The classrooms along with the school kitchen have been destroyed due to the cyclone. Besides, uprooted trees are leaning on the school boundary,” said one of the teachers of the school.

The Primary Health Centre that provides health services to over 30,000 people in the locality portrays even a grim picture.

Similarly, the Odisha State Warehousing Corporation godown situated at Nahantara Chowk has suffered massive damages and PDS rice worth crores of rupees have been damaged after the asbestos roof was blown away in cyclone Fani.

“We tried our best to keep the stored rice safe. However, the roof of the warehouse was swept away. We could not shift the rice due to lack of facilities nearby with adequate capacity,” said Syamasundar Sahu, Superintendent of the Odisha State Warehousing Corporation godown in Balanga.