AT LEAST 8 LAKH PERSONS YET MAROONED: GOVT. ADMITS LAPSES IN PREPAREDNESS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Secretary G.V.V.Sharma of the revenue department that handles the relief operations confessed on September 25 that at least 8 lakh persons in 825 villages are marooned as yet with no road connectivity to reach them. He admitted that boats are the only means to send them the badly needed food and drinking water; but they are almost unavailable.

The state has only 1500 boats tat are absolutely inadequate to serve 45 lakhs of flood-hit people in 6000 villages in as many as 19 districts, Nuapada having entered the list of inundated eighteen.

Though the weather has improved and discharge from Hirakud has remarkably receded, in the Mahanadi delta continuous surge of overflow has hammered out 52 new breaches pushing newer areas into the fold of flood.

It is baffling to note that the state government is groping yet in dark about the breaches.

Notwithstanding Sharma putting the figure at 143, officialdom takes the figure to be 240 whereas sources in the water resources department put the breaches above 1000.

Sharma admitted that no relief has reached so far at least 41 thousand victims of the disaster.

True picture of the devastation is yet to emerge.

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