In this region of Odisha, there comes an unusual Visitor every month: Sea

Mud Embankments being Constructed To Stop Tide Water

Mud Embankments being Constructed By Villages in Gadkujang Panchayat of Jagatsinghpur District To Stop Tide Water

If the topic of the article didn’t enthuse you and you are still thinking what’s so weird about this, well then be ready for the weirdest answer! Well the sea comes invited!

In the Gadkujang Panchayat of  Jagatsinghpur district, people are slowly getting  used  to the Sea water invading far into their hinterlands destroying crops and gobbling up villages after villages. But it was not like this forever!

It started happening ever since the Odisha state government decided to allocate lands from this panchayat for the proposed Posco Steel plant. What happened next was unmindful and indiscriminate felling of trees by the IDCO (Infrastructure Development Corporation) .  As a repercussion, it is now for the villagers to bear the brunt of nature’s fury.  It has become a regular phenomenon now for sea water to enter to the villages each month on the occasion of new moon and full moon day.

An estimate says that nearly 80,000 trees were felled last year only in this region , thus stripping the entire coastline with valuable forest resources.  The  trees  were instrumental in  acting a s a natural barriers for the marauding tidal waves earlier. Tidal waves from the mouth of river Jatadhara have now started entering into the areas where once the forest used to act as a natural barrier.

The marauding tidal waves have been  destroying farmlands and inundating the villages for some time now. It is estimated that more than 400 acres   of  paddy and vegetable crops get damaged every time the sea water gets into the Panchayat. The life of more than 1500 villages who inhabit the region have turned topsy-turvy.

The villagers who now insist that IDCO which now holds the land before finally handing it over to the POSCO steel company in due course of time, should take to the task of afforesting the entire region. To make up for the lost of forest cover, thousand of acres of plantation is needed now and the company should be made responsible to undertake the afforest ration activities.

In a way, the example of the  Gadkujang Panchayat is an eye opener for the state government.  If its is the role of the government to step up investments and industrial activities, it has got a responsibility towards the environment too.

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