Tension prevailed between a village inhabited by marine fishermen and another of peasants on Ganjam district coast. over digging of a channel of Bahuda river near its river mouth. The villages who are now at loggerheads are Indrakshi and Markandi of Kanisi tehsil in Ganjam district.

The situation became so volatile that the Berhampur Sub-Collector Bijay Kumar Das had to intervene and call up a meeting between inhabitants of both the villages on Saturday. This meeting continued till 9 pm but no decision could be taken. But both the warring groups agreed that the issue had to be settled amicably.

Speaking to The Hindu , the Sub-Collector said the executive engineer of drainage division has been directed to make an on the spot survey and file a report. This report would be studied by the district administration and decision regarding digging of the river mouth would be taken as per the report. It has also been decided that no villagers would be allowed to get involved in the digging. Markandi village is mostly inhabited by marine fishermen and it is located near the sea coast.

The stream from Bahuda river meets the sea near Markandi. It dries up during summer months. During rainy season, inhabitants of Markandi dig up this channel of Bahuda river connecting to the sea.

As per inhabitants of Markandi village, they are compelled to dig the channel to save their village and parked boats from sea erosion. They feel, otherwise sea waves during rainy season along with the overflowing water of Bahuda river would wash away their boats parked at the coast as well as damage their houses on the coastline. But the inhabitants of Indrakshi, who are mostly farmers, are worried over this digging of the channel. As per them due to digging of this channel, seawater enters the channel during high tides. This saline water enters their agricultural fields jeopardising their livelihood . So, they are vehemently opposing digging of the channel.

The tension between these two villages aggravated during past two days.

Sub-Collector Bijay Kumar Das says the executive engineer has been directed to make an on the spot survey and file a report