By the late evening of 10 May, power supplies were restored back in many localities of Bhubaneswar. Residents of the city have been receiving municipality water regularly as well. This has been after a week since the state was hit by cyclone Fani. In Puri, located 60 kms away, the cyclone has hit devastatingly and the electricity will supposedly be out for more days. Many marriage receptions as well as other events of importance were postponed in the light of recent destruction. Cyclone Fani is an unusual one, as the state generally experiences cyclones in the October-November period. According to reports, in several village areas, restoration of power looks highly doubtful. The time for this rural areas and several blocks that have been affected by the cyclone is predicted more than 2 weeks. However, rural areas are better off as far as access to drinking water is concerned. People depend on the open wells and tube wells. Even before Fani, these sources catered to the residents’ needs. Though, bhuwaneswar had maintained a steady supply of water but other districts had suffered the water problem too. Former headmaster Bijoy Kishore Mohanty and his headmistress wife, Kumud Kumari, who have been living in Puri’s SCS College locality for over five decades, have temporarily moved to their village Bagalpur, which is 65 kilometres away, in Balipatna block of Khordha district.
“For several days after the cyclone, we had to carry water from a tubewell, 100 metres away from my place. Carrying water for all domestic use in this heat is a terrible experience,” says Mohanty. “Puri is a lovely place to stay. But when the fury of Fani gained momentum, I thought the city was going to meet its end that very day. Never in my life have I experienced, nor did I imagine, such miseries in Puri. Here in my village, at least I don’t have to bother about water,” he adds. On the Bhubaneswar-Puri highway, civic authorities are seen working hard to erect electric polls for the restoration of electricity, while scores of trucks loaded with relief materials are moving towards Puri and other routes off the highway. Municipality carriages are busy clearing garbage from roadsides. Puri is a very well-known tourist destination in Odisha. On a daily basis, several thousand people from different parts of the country visit the city, where the main attractions, among others, are the Jagannath temple and the beach. Bada Danda (grand road) that connects the Jagannath temple with the “deities’ aunt’s place”, Mausima temple, has a deserted look. Shops were closed and institutions abandoned.
According to a report, approximately six hundred families reside in the Binayak Sahi, Behera Sahi, Shiva Shakti Sahi and Santoshi Sahi. Most of the residents depended on their makeshift shops on the beach for a living. Fani destroyed their houses as well as their livelihood. At a little before 3 in the afternoon, a chhota hathi, (small goods carrier vehicle) arrives with packaged cooked food. The men and women are angry, they have decided not to receive the food packets provided by the government. The untimely delivery of food has made the residents more upset along with dealing the frustration of the difficulties created by the cyclone. The survivors complain that tbey need dry food like sugar and chiwra which they can eat whenever they feel hungry. They also require polyethene sheets in order to protect themselves from the scorching heat. The condition of children is miserable from the heat and hunger.
However, an employee at the Puri Municipality says, “We have been providing all essential commodities to the cyclone victims in all the places of Puri. Vehicles carrying them are constantly on the move. Hopefully, those who claim not to have received the sheets will get them in a couple of hours.”
Tags : #Cyclone #Fani #Political #Aid #Relief #Materials #Survivors