By | 27 Aug 2022 at 11:02 AM

With floods having become almost an annual phenomenon in Odisha, the state Congress unit has urged the BJD government to convene a meeting of experts and leaders of all parties to find out a permanent solution to deal with the calamity.

Addressing a press conference, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Sarat Pattnayak on Friday said ”gross mismanagement” on the part of the BJD government was to be blamed for the twin floods in the Mahanadi and Subarnarekha river systems.

”The state government cannot escape its responsibility by blaming Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand for discharging flood water. Experts in flood management, water management and hydrology from across the country should be invited to the state for a discussion on how to mitigate the problem,” he said.

The Congress leader pointed out that as many as 10 lakh people in 15 districts were affected in the twin floods, which also damaged crops over nearly 20 lakh hectares.

”Close to 70 per cent of the state’s population would be suffering with crops having been affected. The BJD, which is in power for 23 years, has made no effort to control or regulate floods in the state,” Pattnayak alleged.

The grand old party’s flood committee chairman and former minister Panchanan Kanungo alleged that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s ”zero casualty” mission has completely failed as at least ”17 people have died” in the floods.

According to government records, the toll due to the recent floods stood at six.

”Floods could have been checked had the government taken certain preventive measures. There were times when 88 gates of Hirakud dam were opened. This time, only 40 gates were opened and even then the situation went out of hand,” Kanungo, who was present at the press meet, said.

Criticising the government’s relief operations, the Congress leader also said that Rs 1 lakh as compensation should be given for every hectare of vegetable cultivation lost.

He also alleged that the people in the marooned villages were not given 15 days’ relief material even as the chief minister made an announcement to that effect.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)