In rustic wisdom, they say that sea water has turned warmer and no human force could tame its striding march. "Time is ripe to leave the place or else the surging sea will eat us up as it has done with their ancestral land. We watch helplessly as the sea strides towards our places of living almost on a daily basis," explained sea-displaced local Rajiv Lochan Hota.

Cyclone Hudhud of October 12 has imperilled the people further. Massive sand dunes that acted as a protective barrier against the onslaught of the sea waves are falling into pieces.

People of the area allege that resettlement plan announced by administration is yet to be fulfilled. According to Brahmananda Jena, a villager of Barahipur, "Though the district administration had announced that the affected families will be relocated to a resettlement colony in Bagapatia by March 31, 2013, nothing has been done so far."

The shift of these sandy buffers has exposed the land to the advancing sea. "People are hopelessly exposed to tidal waves as sand dunes are steadily getting fragmented. It's a danger signal. The message is clear: the sea will be in our village very shortly.

 There is human settlement now only in Satabhaya, Barahipur and Magarkanda villages. The cyclone has burst apart the sand dunes, opening gates for ingress of seawater," described Satabhaya Sarpanch, Nigamanand Rout.
    
The sea has been menacingly marching towards the human habitations in this part. It has advanced six km into this gram panchayat since past three-and-half-a-decade. Hamlets, places of human habitations and agriculture land are now under sea's lap, he said.
    
Describing Satabhaya area as a highly unsafe now, Kendrapara district collector Pramod Kumar Das said steps have already been initiated to shift people from vulnerable zone to safe place and rehabilitate them properly.

Flattened by fast advancing sea, over 200 families of Barahipur, Satabhaya, Magarkanda hamlets are living on the edge with continuous shrinkage putting the entire area in 'danger zone' category.
    
Kanhupur hamlet has already been gobbled up in the past six years. It is simply a matter of time that the remaining tracts of human civilisation in Satabhaya would be consumed by furious sea.

"I am a mute witness to sea's fury. The erstwhile Kanika zamindar had a stone-cut building here. Sea has eaten it up in the past two decades. Our homes and agriculture fields have all gone under seabed. I was native of Mahanipur revenue hamlet. That is now under sea water. Similarly sea has gobbled up Kualiora, Gobindpur, Sanakanhupur, Kharikula hamlets," recalled 75-year-old Krushna Chandra Behera, a displaced villager now living in Barahipur.

"The sand dune was protecting us. But recent cyclonic storm has disfigured the dunes. Now my village is on the path of sea's march. People are scared and perturbed. People are leaving their homes in Barahipur," Barahipur native Brahmananda Jena said.
    
The state government has faced innumerable anti-displacement movements in different districts. The one by villagers of Satabhaya and Kanhupur is on the contrary for displacement. In fact, they want to be displacedand rehabilitated as sea is steadily eating into places of human settlements.

The decision to relocate the 571 families living in the vulnerable coastal villages was taken in 2008 at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The proposed project in Kendrapara district is incidentally Odisha's first ever rehabilitation and resettlement project for people displaced by sea erosion.

"Satabhaya is no more safe for living. There are reports of people voluntarily shifting to safer places. Plan to rehabilitate the affected families in Satabhayaya GP stays on top of our agenda. The land acquisition process for the rehabilitation colony at Bagapatia has ended," said district Collector Das.
    
Work for construction of roads, houses and filling up of low-lying portion of the proposed colony would get underway shortly, he said.

However, the residents of Satabhaya feel the other way. "The government is insensitive to our plight. It is playing cruel joke upon us. For over two decades, we have been waiting for rehabilitation colony to come up.

During last election, the ruling party politicians had raked up resettlement issues again."After the poll was over, the resettlement plan was again relegated to the rear," rued a resident of Satabhaya, Sudarshan Rout.

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