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Orissa: Why flood-hit villagers are not rebuilding their homes

September 20, 2011 16:40 IST

The flood waters have receded from Kendrapara in Orissa over a week ago but the people are waiting for damage assessment by government officials instead of repairing their houses.

"We have been advised to keep the trails of destruction intact till the revenue inspector makes spot verification of the damaged houses, which would be photographed as an evidence of the loss," many flood victims of Kendrapara district said.

"The time is not ripe for rebuilding and reconstruction. Let the officials assess our loss and give money," remarked Shradhananda Nayak from flood-hit Tikhiri village of the district.

Nayak says he has been asked by the sarpanch to keep his broken house as it is till the revenue inspector visits the village.

"The sight of the broken house pains me. I have the resources to rebuild the kutcha house on my own. But I will wait for house damage assistance from the government," he said while rummaging through the remains of his broken down mud-walled house.

The scenario is similar in most of the riverside villages ravaged by the flood.

"Rows of damaged houses give a deceptive impression for the relief teams. Even 10 days after the deluge, devastation is made to look fresh," remarked Goutam Roul, a volunteer of a charitable organisation.              

Though the NGOs are ready to help to clear out the debris, the villagers insist that those remain till government officials approve of the money for relief, he added.

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