Skilled plumbers from Kendrapara are making their way to flood-ravaged Kerala to lend a hand in restoration work.

As receding water continues to pave the way for rebuilding process in the southern state, the services of plumbers from this part of Odisha are now being sought to repair the damaged drinking water and sewerage pipelines.

“Batches of plumbers from the district have been leaving for Kerala for the last three days. We have received reports in this regard from the native villages of these skilled workforces,” said Nihar Ranjan Mallick, Rajnagar Tehsildar.

“This region finds a pride of place across the globe for churning out skilful plumbers. It’s heartening to note that services of plumbers from Kedrapara are being widely sought. Because of their skill, they have made their presence felt across the country and abroad,” he added.

Kendrapara district is widely regarded as country’s plumbing capital. The placement agencies and firms in Kerala are intent on seeking the services of Kendrapara plumbers, whose dexterity and sincerity has been appreciated worldwide.

The plumbers who were engaged elsewhere have also left their workplace to head for Kerala.

“I was engaged in plumbing firm in Kolkata. I have taken a month’s break from my job to return home. We, a batch of plumbers, will leave for Ernakulum in a day or two. My employer in Kolkata was gracious enough to grant me leave for working in Kerala,” said Raghav Parida (38), a plumber from Taradipala village under Pattamundai Tehsil.

“As far as I know, over 500 people from Kendrapara have left for Kerala for drinking water restoration work. Many more are expected to head for Kerala in coming days as the State badly requires skilled workers like us for speedy restoration,” he added.

In major areas of this district, plumbing is a significant economic activity that has been generating income for thousands of families in this district which has no industry. Plumbing is a vocation that generations in Kendrapara have been practising.

Besides the major urban centres, the plumbers, mainly from Pattamundai, Aul, Rajnagar and Rajkanika region, have spread their network in various places across the country.

Many have made their way to Gulf and countries in West Asia stamping their class and dexterity in plumbing sectors. An official estimate puts the number of migrant plumbers working overseas at 20,000.