In an attempt to protect the seaside villages from tidal surge, the Odisha government has undertaken the Cyclone Resilient Saline Embankment Project for strengthening of around 200 kilometers of saline embankments with technical support by Chennai-based National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).
The project coined as Mukshyamantri Cyclone Resilient Saline Embankment Project is being implemented in Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Puri districts with the technical support of National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai. An estimated budget of Rs 763 crore has been approved towards the project. And in 2023-24 fiscal, Rs.150 crore has been allocated for this purpose, said officials of water resources department.
Rs 961 crore has been proposed in the budget for strengthening of the flood control embankments and drainage improvement works in the vulnerable areas, they said.
Under Flood Control & Drainage improvement programme, Mukhyamantri Disaster Resilient Saline Embankment Project was launched by the State Government in 2022-23 with an objective to mitigate riverine flood to some extent and prevent saline inundation due to the tidal surge of Bay of Bengal in four numbers of coastal districts of the State- Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Puri- thereby protecting the life and property in the region.
Under the scheme, the existing low level saline embankments nearer to coastline shall be strengthened to overcome the fury of severe cyclones up to 250 km per hour with the technical assistance of National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT). The scheme is implemented with an outlay of Rs.763.48 crore to protect 21690 hectares of agricultural land which will benefit 292500 people.
To mitigate flood and to arrest saline ingress, flood control embankments & saline embankments are being constructed. A total of 560 flood protection works have so far been taken up through the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund scheme funded by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). Out of which, 422 flood control works have been completed up to the end of January-2023 from which 1459.66 hectares of agriculture areas will benefit, the officials added.