Look from the bridge

Under Water: Flooding in the Daya River

Daya river is a branch of the Kuakhai which is itself a distributary of the Mahanadi river. More importantly for us it flows through the Khorda and Puri districts before emptying itself in the Chilika Lake. The problem here is that we live on the Sunderpada-Jatani Road out of Bhubaneshwar, which runs parallel to the Daya. In other words we are now at the risk of flooding.

We had been listening to news that Khorda was under risk of heavy rainfall and flooding. It wasn’t much of problem before as we are on a slightly elevated location so floodwaters would not reach us before drowning anything else. Sadly the confidence we had was shaken just two days ago.

We have started an ecommerce venture that deals with local handicrafts. We source handicrafts from local artists who cannot advertise their talents and market their products to the world on our website. You can visit us at www.art2india.com. To expand our lineup we regularly look for craftsmen in rural areas.

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We were out and about looking for a craftsman around the neighbourhood when I noticed that the horizon behind a roadside wall had turned orangish. I pointed it out to my friend who also did a double take on the view. Sure enough it was flood water. We turned our two-wheeler around and made our way into a village which looked close enough to the water.

Fisherman near submerged playground
Fishing on a flooded Daya river

When we reached the shore, another reminder stood before us of the folly of following trends. It was an abandoned building of a defunct engineering college. A board spelled out the name as Indus College of Engineering. The water had gobbled up a football field and was lapping up a boundary wall surrounding some residential areas. I could see the chimney of a brick kiln far away but not the kiln itself. Everything was under the muddy water of the Daya, having overflown an embankment. We took a few photos and then made tracks as there wasn’t much to look at.

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Flooded Daya river

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Moving by the river line, we found that the river had risen itself enough to endanger houses that used to be farther way. For many houses there were no good approach roads visible. Finally we stopped at a village close to where we had climbed up a hill to a hidden temple in a earlier post. We took some more photos of the devastation before moving off to the bridge on Daya on the road to Pipili. The low lying areas were completely gone and water currents were really strong on river itself. Keep in mind that just a month ago, we could see the waterline several feet below the current one.

View from a bridge

For us this means that the streams feeding into Daya are also getting swollen up. As we live pretty close to one such stream, the danger of flooding has increased substantially. And to think even Cyclone Fani was not able to flood us (we lost power for a few weeks though). Add to that more gates have been opened in the Hirakud and we have a much bigger disaster in the making.

Please pray for us so that we can weather this adversity just as we are starting off our business. I hope this disaster passes us by so that us and the people living on the shore of the river do not have to be displaced just after having set thing right from Fani.

Thank you and good luck to the rest of us the state.

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