Bhubaneswar, Sept. 12: People from Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are flocking to the flooded areas for a glimpse of swirling waters.
All bridges in the twin cities have apparently turned into tourist spots. The residents, as well as outsiders, are crowding there watch water gushing under the bridges.
Most are rushing to Jobra barrage in Cuttack. The rush, however, has resulted in traffic congestion near the barrage.
“For the past three days, there has been traffic congestion near the barrage as people are coming here in huge numbers to see the discharge of water,” said a traffic policeman deployed at the barrage.
Vendors selling food at the barrage are, however, having a good time as their business has doubled.
“Earlier, we had to wait for customers, but for the past three days our business has been good with lots of people coming here,” said Manaoranjan Maharana, an ice cream vendor. Ice cream, jhal muri, corn and gol gappa are in high demand.
People travelling between Cuttack and Puri, too, get down from their vehicles to see the water level in the rivers.
“For the first time, I get to watch such a huge amount of water. It looks furious! This is a lifetime experience for us,” said Jeevan, a Class II student.
Residents of the twin cities are also turning up in high numbers at Daleighai. Even the buses plying on this route stop near the places, where breaches had developed during the 1982 flood.
“It is exciting to see the huge amount of water and local residents guarding the place,” said Himadri Jena, who was travelling from Paradip to Cuttack. People are also taking photos on their cellphone.
The road from Cuttack to the Naraj barrage, which gets deserted during the evening, now remains busy throughout night.
“On hearing that more water will be discharged we have come to see the flowing floodwater,” said Samresh Das, a corporation employee who had come to visit the place with his wife.
Moreover, for some people, the flood has brought the scope of collecting wood from the rivers. These people use a country-made device called arata. It is attached with a rope and thrown into the river to tug the floating bamboo pieces or logs.
In the past three days, people have collected quintals of bamboo from river water.
“One quintal of fuel wood costs nearly Rs 600. We have collected as many as 10 quintals of bamboo from the river. We will use these for cooking,” said Manoj Seth, who is collecting bamboos from the Kuakhai river.