Rashmi Ranjan

The Odisha government’s tall claims about providing potable water to all households seem to be in doldrums in several parts of the State. In a glaring example, a solar drinking water project that was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Derabisi in Kendrapara district in 2016, is now lying defunct spewing water woes ahead of the scorching summer.

Built at an expense of over Rs 1 crore, the 10 HP solar pump-powered water project could not even run for a year. Now, it is gathering dust while wild plants and weeds have taken over the solar panels.

“It is really unfortunate that the project could run for only one and a half months. When we raised the issue, we were informed that the motor was stolen. Now, the scorching heat will double our trouble without water supply,” said Sarat Mishra, a local resident.

“The public representative here is not concerned about the wellbeing of the common men. Everyone is busy making their own profit,” said Bidyadhar Kandi, another local.

Echoing the same opinion another local Krushna Chandra Das said, “Even though the project is there, we are not getting water. It is okay to skip a meal but how can someone live without water? Everyone knows the project is defunct now but no measure is being taken to make it operational.” 

Commenting on the matter, Kendrapara collector Amrit Rutura said, “Directions have already been issued to resolve the problems within 48 hours under the Basudha project. The habitation has increased and we are installing more water pipelines.”

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