Reported by Ranjan Rath
Malkangiri, Oct 15:
The very severe cyclonic storm Hudhud has caused extensive damage in Odisha’s Maoist affected border district of Malkangiri.
As per the preliminary report by the district administration today, out of total of 108 panchayats in seven blocks of the district, 81 panchayats have been badly affected including 19 panchayats of Korukonda block, 17 panchayats of Kalimela, 11 panchayats of Kudumulgumma, 10 panchayats of Padia, 8 panchayats of Mathili, seven panchayats of Malkangiri and nine panchayats of Khairiput block.
Out of a total of 1301 damaged houses, 437 houses have been completely damaged while damages to 864 houses have been partial.
The cyclonic storm has also caused severe damage to Kharif crop in the district.
“Out of a total of 70,344 hectares of crops, 620 hectares of paddy crop and 64 hectares of maize crop have been completely damaged”, said Damodar Sethi, deputy director, Agriculture.
While the entire district headquarters has been thrown into darkness since October 12, a special team of electricity staff have begun power restoration work today, said Bhagaban Pradhan, executive officer of Southern Electricity Supply Corporation (Southco).
There has been power disruption in Kiang panchayat of Mathili block, 151 villages of seven cut-off panchayats in Kudumulgumma block, 32 villages of two panchayats in Bonda hills in Khairiput block and some villages of Padia block, Pradhan said, adding, it would take least two weeks to restore power in the remaining areas of the district.
However, the biggest challenge before the administration in this district is to carry out restoration work in areas, which have a strong Maoist presence
Observers in the district headquarters feel, it may take months for restoration work to be carried out in ‘dreaded zones’ such as Padia and Kudmulgumma blocks, even with active support of security personnel.
” The administration does not detailed reports from these ‘red zones’ as of now because officials are scared to visit these areas for fear of attacks from Maoists,” a senior local journalist said.