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Odisha: Hand pump buried in sand, temple without deity: Seven villages start vanishing from Odisha map by Aishwarya Mohanty April 07,2021   |  Source: The Indian Express

This 17-km stretch along the coast in Odisha’s Kendrapara district, which was once home for nearly 700 families, now stands in solitude, a vast expanse covered in sand as far as the eye can see, peppered with palm trees and abandoned cattle. Close to the shore, there are some remnants of the past: a hand pump half-buried in the sand, cattle left unattended and an old temple without a deity. The temple was once a bustling weekend spot for many of those families. Today, it has only one regular visitor, Prafulla Lenka. This, in short, is the story of Satabhaya, a cluster of seven villages, which has almost disappeared from the map due to coastal erosion, taking with it a way of life and livelihood. The six-member family of Lenka was among the 571 that were rehabilitated by the district administration to a colony in Bagapatia, 12 km away, in 2018. But the 40-year-old stayed back to look after his 20 buffaloes, despite the lack of basic facilities like electricity and clean drinking water. Orders have now been issued to rehabilitate 118 of the 148 families left behind. Officials say the other 30 still have paperwork to sort out.

Hit by coastal erosion, Satabhaya, which was once home to nearly 700 families, has now become a a vast expanse covered in sand as far as the eye can


© 2021The Indian Express [P] Ltd.

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