People of remote coastal villages in Jagatsinghpur district complain that the cyclone shelters, constructed after the 1999 super cyclone, are in a dilapidated condition at many places while in some of the seaside villages the promised shelters have not been constructed.
The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur had conducted a survey to map the requirement of such cyclone shelters in seaside villages but the report has gathered dust.
The district administration has identified 938 villages as cyclone prone in eight blocks of Jagatsinghpur district. Several villages of the district situated within one to two km from the sea do not have any cyclone shelter nearby while there are a number of such shelters in the urban areas.
Jhatipari, a remote coastal village under Japa panchayat, is situated 2 to 3 km away from the sea. It had witnessed a death dance in 1999 super cyclone when at least 800 people had died. The village has no cyclone shelter and people evacuated during calamities are shifted to Dahibara which is three km from the village.
Villagers of Jhatipari like Ram Das, Sahdev Mandal, Alok Maiti, Shankar Mandal and others said they had repeatedly drawn the attention of district authorities but to no avail.
Sarpanch of Japa panchayat, Tapan Gochyat, said he had demanded the construction of a shelter but nobody listened to him.
The villagers of Shanka, Ramatara, Silai, Kalabedi, which have been situated one km away from the sea, have no cyclone shelters nearby.
Nearly 1500 villagers are living in Kiyada village under Ambiki panchayat because the administration has advised the villagers to shift to the local cyclone shelter but villagers are unwilling to stay there as the shelter is in very bad shape.
It may be recalled that after super cyclone, nearly 595 cyclone shelters, including 45 multipurpose cyclone shelters had been established in the district by several agencies and other states like Maharashtra who were directed by the then Congress government in 1999 at the centre to provide all possible assistance to Odisha.
Many shelters have developed cracks in the ceiling resulting in seepage and the doors and windows are damaged due to lack of maintenance.