KENDRAPARA: A large number of flood-hit villages in the district are reeling under darkness. With the electricity infrastructure suffering heavy damage, significant part of the district is without power for over three days now.
As night descends in the flood-hit areas, the villages become sheets of darkness. A trip to Serapur, a flood-affected village under Bari block, is like a journey back in time. It has no power. “We are living in darkness with floods up to our necks. We only pray that light will come to our village soon as the authorities promised to repair the damaged electric poles,” said one Ramesh Ojha.
Many flood-hit villagers are staying in makeshift huts on river embankments. For the women, absence of electricity means that household chores must be completed before dark. “It becomes very difficult after it gets dark. We have to either burn candles or lamps,” said Mamata Das of Namatara village in Rajkanika block, who along with six other members of her family is staying in a makeshift tent on a river embankment.
Another major problem in such areas is sanitation as latrines are now submerged in flood water. The women folk are the worst hit. As it is inconvenient to venture out during the day to defecate, the women wait till sunset and absence of electricity has only made matters worse for them.
One of the affected villages, Benipur under Derabishi block was cut-off from the mainland after Birupa river breached its embankment on Friday. The floodwater also submerged the electric sub-station as a result of which the village and its nearby areas were plunged into darkness. Sources said most parts of flood-hit Aul, Rajkanika, Marsaghai, Garadapur, and Pattamundai blocks in the district are in the dark for the last 72 hours.
District emergency officer Sambeet Satapathy said 2.60 lakh people of 160 villages have been affected by flood in the district. He said the authorities will repair the infrastructure and restore power supply after the floodwater recedes from the affected villages.