Odisha: Well planned disaster preparedness in Rayagada district

Report by Badal Tah; Rayagada: Learning lessons from the yesteryear’s flood due to torrential rain in Rayagada district, which was an unknown phenomenon in this hilly district, this year district administration was quick to respond to the heavy downpour in the district for the last three days. The disaster preparedness was swift by the district emergency team led by Smt Guha Punam Tapash Kumar, IAS, Collector, Rayagada.

To cite a few relief and rescue measures, in Serigumma GP of K Singhpur block, two households were partially damaged at Tumbitarai village and rain water had entered in four houses. Free kitchen started for eight houses at Tumbitarai school for forty people. Besides rice @5kg each and potatoes and dal@ 1kg each were provided to three families of Tala Anchalbadi, Parlapai and Podichuan villages. Dry food comprising of biscuits and snacks were distributed to all affected. Three families residing in unsafe houses have been shifted to nearby Anganwadi Centre at Talaanchalbadi village till Monday.

Nine pucca houses were partly damaged in Kashipur. PWD Road to S. Pitesu (OR-27-13) got damaged at Pitesu nallah and RD Road to Penta (OR-27-397A) was washed away. Kuli A.P Border Road- Breaches occurred at Kuli area. Slit soil from hilly side got deposited at Utkapadu and rain water over topped the road at Mirabali. Komtalpeta-Kalyan Singpur road- rain water over tapped. Concerned officers were instructed to undertake the repair of above damages.

The fallen tree at village Lakubadi of Rayagada Tahasil which is three kms from Gumma was cleared for smooth passage of vehicles.

At village Sulipadar of K.Singhpur Block two persons namely Madan Laya (65) and Yosoda Laya (60) died due to collapse of wall due to continuous rain. They were provided assistance under Harish Chandra Sahayata Yojana. The Tahasildar, K.singhpur had been instructed to submit proposal immediately for sanction of ex-gratia to the next of kins (NOK) of the deceased person.

Heavy rains disrupted train services as the rain water flooded over the railway line and the drains beside the railway track. Railway officials worked on the track on war footage to restore the services as early as possible.

Water flooded on the track at Bhalumaska railway station which is between Rayagada and Koraput railway stations. The train No. 18447 Bhubaneswar-Jagdalpur Hirakhand express struck in the section. The site was at a “cutting”, on a downward slope and the entire line from Rayagada to Koraput is hilly terrain. The train left Bhalumaska at 11.30 hrs after water level receded. Site is about 1km away from Bhalumaska Station. So, train could return safely to the station. The train was at dead slow. Railway engineers immediately attended at site. Despite heavy rains, the gangmen worked at site and gave safety clearance before its final departure at 11.30hrs to Koraput. Train reached Koraput and all passengers were safe. The train was short terminated at Koraput. At the same time 18006 Koraput-Howrah express was also stopped at Laxmipur Road in KR(Koraput-Rayagada) line and later started to reach Rayagada by 15.30hrs. The entire section was monitored under supervision of senior officials. The trains were allowed to run with speed restriction at vulnerable locations.

The water levels in Kalyani, Nagavali, Jhanjabati and Bansadhara have receded and there is no risk of flood by their inundation. Nevertheless, at district level, in all the block headquarters, sufficient food materials, polythene, essential medicines and other items, etc are in sufficient stock. The human resources in health centres and block development offices, local police, fire brigade, para-military forces, etc are instructed to be alert for next few days to avoid any untoward incidents. The revenue officials are ordered to assess the crop loss and get ready for assistance and compensation. All villagers have been sensitized regarding shifting to nearby AWC/Schools in case rain persists for longer duration. Warning has been issued not to ferry villagers in illegally country-made boats with rubber tubes. District administration has arranged necessary transport in cut-off areas to take even a roundabout route. Timely plan, review and action by the district administration with a band of committed officers under the able leadership of Collector Guha has successfully combated the situation arisen due to heavy and continuous downpour in Rayagada which is clad with undulated hills, forests and torrential streams.



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