Environment

Odisha Floods: Relief Reaches Dongoria Kondh Tribe as Situation Improves

Rayagada: A house destructed after flash floods in Rayagada district, Odisha on Monday. Credit: PTI

Rayagada: A house destructed after flash floods in Rayagada district, Odisha on Monday. Credit: PTI

Bhubaneswar: Relief materials, including cooked food, reached the marooned Dongoria Kondh tribes in Niyamgiri hills area today as flood-affected Rayagada, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri districts of Odisha were limping back to normal.

The floods have claimed the lives of four persons and above 100 animals so far.

The Dongoria Kondh, belonging to the vulnerable tribal group, continued to remain cut off from the rest of the state due to heavy flood in river Kalyan as the only bridge connecting the Niyamgiri area was washed away resulting in the people of the hills being marooned.

While dry food stuff were air dropped with the help of a Donier aircraft of the Coast Guard, cooked food was also supplied to the Dongria Kondhs inhabiting at Kalyansinghpur block in the district, according to Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi.

A chopper was pressed into service as two villages of Niyamgiri hills were cut off. Besides about 2,000 Dongoria Kondh tribes, another 2,000 people belonging to other communities also remained cut off, Sethi said, adding that steps were being taken to restore the bridge so that the people could come out of their villages.

On the flood situation in Rayagada district, the SRC said three villages continued to remain marooned even as relief materials reached in all places with the help of CRPF, ODRAF, firemen and the police besides NGO volunteers.

As many as 28,000 people in 70 villages have been affected in Rayagada district, he said.

In Kalahandi district, two persons have died in flood- related incidents while the administration evacuated 5,731 people to safe places due to flood in Hati, Tel and other small rivers.

A report from Kalahandi said that release of water from Indravati project to Hati River through Mangalpur barrage and rain in catchment areas caused fresh flood in the riverside villages. Apprehending the problem, local collector Anjankumar Manik asked the Indravati project authority to stop release of water.

Many people were evacuated to safe places, he said, adding that about four-feet high water of the Hati river was flowing over the old Hati River Bridge at Junagarh in NH-26.

At least six devotees including the priest of the Shiva temple at Utchla village under Golamunda block on the bank of Tel River were rescued by the fire brigade team. They were stranded since Sunday evening as the temple premise was marooned by the Tel River water.

The places mostly dominated by Maoist ultras, were cut off as the flood water overflowed between Kalimela and Padia at Kanyashram and between Malkangiri and Kalimela at Kangarukonda.

In Nabarangpur, 2,123 people have been evacuated as flood water rushed into 16 villages disrupting road communication.

This apart, the heavy rainfall has also made life miserable in Cuttack city where 43 places under Cuttack Municipal Corporation jurisdiction have been waterlogged. Atleast 230 pump sets were deployed to reduce waterlogging the residential areas.

Sethi said the relief and restoration activities have been geared up as the water level is receding, however, he added that incessant rain would severely affect the relief and restoration activities in the affected areas.