River Erosion Leaves Villages in Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj Districts Worried

The issue of river erosion is not a recent one; several states have had to contend with the problem including Odisha. The worry seems to be growing again as the Salandi river has been devouring large tracts of land and pucca and kutcha houses at Kanpur village under Hatadihi block in Anandapur Sub-Division of Keonjhar district. The rapid erosion of river banks has left the villagers of Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts scared.

The continual erosion along the river bank has sparked concerns of displacement among the three hundred odd families residing in the area. Many houses have already been washed away by the Salandi River due to the absence of a river embankment. Though a wall was constructed to prevent riverbank erosion, villagers alleged that it was of little help.

“The River is gradually devouring patches of land from the north side and inching closer to the houses near the riverbank. Though there is a protection wall, it has failed to prevent erosion. If stone-packed ring embankment is not constructed along the Salandi River, we are afraid Kanpur village will soon submerge in the river,” a villager said.

The nearby Deo River which flows alongside the village has engulfed large tracts of agricultural land. The situation gets aggravated during the monsoon. The villagers alleged that they had suffered huge losses as the floodwater from the river damaged their crops and houses during the last rains.

“A stone-pack embankment was constructed at Digha in 2009 and I had raised a question in the State Assembly regarding the construction of embankment along Deo River to which Water Resources Minister Raghunandan Das had replied that a detailed project report (DPR) would be prepared and a tender would be floated in this regard soon,” informed Udala MLA Bhaskar Madei.

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