Bhubaneswar: The Opposition came down heavily on the BJD government in the Assembly on Wednesday over the acute drinking water crisis in the State.
Tara Prasad Bahinipati of the Congress criticised the government for not being able to provide safe drinking water to people even after 16 years in power.
“The government knows only vote bank politics and is not bothered about the real problem of the voters. In rural and urban areas, people are screaming for water. But the government has completely failed to address the alarming issue. It has no moral right to be in power,” Bahinipati said.
Forty per cent of people have to traverse more than a mile to collect water as compared to 32 per cent in 2001, he pointed out.
The saffron party, which had decided to corner the government before the commencement of Assembly over the issue, said it will strengthen the agitation in the coming days.
“Most of the pipe water projects are not functioning due to various reasons. The water bodies have dried up and the government has failed to provide drinking water to the people. We will hit the streets on the issue,” BJP legislator Pradeep Purohit said.
Though the ruling BJD admitted that the State is witnessing acute shortage of water, it blamed the NDA government for curtailing Central funds.
“We need more Central funds to execute several drinking water projects. The Urban Development, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj departments are working in tandem to tackle the issue,” quipped Rural Development minister Badrinarayan Patra.