STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Balasore, 25 October
Panic gripped Balasore district with almost all the major rivers in the district swelling and at least one of them crossing the danger level, worsening the already-severe flood situation.
The continuous downpour in the last four-five days has added to the woes of lakhs of people who are yet to recover from the floods that followed cyclonic storm Phailin.
According to official sources, Jalka has been flowing at 6.1 metre near Mathani against the DL of 5.5 metres.
Subarnarekha and Budhabalanga are rising but are yet to cross the DL marks. The RDC (central division) Dr Arabinda Kumar Padhee, who has been camping at Balasore to monitor the relief and restoration operations, claimed that the administration has been on alert and all possible steps are being taken to provide assistance to the affected people at the earliest.
Meanwhile, while the district had sought four units of National Disaster Rapid Action Force (NDRAF) apprehending a massive flood, the state government moved three of them to Ganjam district while one unit is camping at Balasore.
Official sources here admitted that the latest bout of rains has affected the relief and restoration works necessitated due to the Phailin-induced floods. RDC Dr Padhee, however, sought to dismiss charges of loopholes and discrimination in relief operation, while observing that the rains have caused immense problem for the emergency duty staff. He informed that police have been asked to book all those who are creating trouble in smooth relief operation under National Security Act (NSA).
A senior official informed that a Central team is likely to visit Balasore on Monday to take stock of the flood situation.