Reported by Ranjan Rath
Koraput, Oct 23:
While the whole of Odisha will be celebrating the festival of lights this evening, for people across undivided Koraput district it will be a dark Diwali.
While 70 percent of Gajapati, Koraput and Malkangiri districts is without power for the last 12 days following the onslaught of Cyclone Hudhud on October 12, most of the rural areas in Koraput district, barring the sadar blocks of Pottangi, Nandapur, Narayanpatna and Bandhugan plunge into darkness post sunset.
Similarly, Gobindapalli, Bonda Ghati and the cut-off areas including Kudumulgumma block in Malkangiri district, several villages of Paradi panchayat of Nuagarh block and Dumbuda, Talasingh and Baijhal panchayats of Gumma block in Gajapati district have also had no power supply.
While around 130 kms of power lines have been snapped, 180 transformers and 800 electric poles have been completely damaged in these districts.
The Energy department, however, claimed it has so far been able to restore power in 60 percent of the areas affected by Hudhud.
The tribals of Koraput district usually sell flowers in huge quantity on the eve of Diwali every year.
These tribals grow flower plants in the backyard of their houses and along the hills in September every year and later sell the flowers in the markets as well by the roadside at Koraput, Jeypore, Nandapur, Borigumma and Kotpad.
However, these tribal flower sellers are conspicuous by their absence this year due to the ravages perpetrated by Cyclone Hudhud.
Though a very few tribal flower sellers can be spotted at the market places, there are hardly any buyers.
Besides, there has been a drastic fall in the sale of crackers in the district this year due to the high cost and the sombre mood that dominates the storm-hit areas here.