Vikash Sharma

People across Odisha are now battling extreme heat wave conditions. The acute drinking water crisis in different parts of the state has compounded the misery of people in this gruelling heat.

The acute drinking water crisis can be gauged from the visuals in Keonjhar where people are now forced to queue up before a pond filled with mud to fill water. There are only two tube wells for a population of nearly 500 people in Jaditar village in Keonjhar district. While one tube well is defunct, people have to wait for hours to fetch water from the other one. Most of the water bodies, especially ponds have dried up. The villagers are hence forced to depend on a mud-filled pond, some two km away.

“Is the government coming to see who is getting water or not? Only the government is claiming to provide safe drinking water,” alleged Sasmruti Nayak, a local resident.

It is alleged that despite repeated complaints, the grievances of villagers have only fallen on deaf ears of the sarpanch and BDO. The scenes from Gundriguda village in Mohana panchayat of Gajapati district are also not different. The well which used to be filled with water throughout the year is now completely dry this time. The locals have threatened to boycott polls if the drinking water crisis persists.

“We are facing difficulties in fetching drinking water and we have been walking miles for it,” said Rami Mandal, a local resident.

The drinking water crisis has also assumed serious proportions in Talcher. The situation is worse at Gurujanga village as the mega water project of MCL has now been locked up by some people with vested interests. The Sub-Collector refused to comment on the matter before the camera.

Similarly, it is now almost one month that the locals of Bhugudakata under ward no 26 in Baripada are facing drinking water crisis.

“Due to extreme heat wave conditions, there have been problems in drinking water due to depletion of groundwater level,” said Krushnanda Mohanty, Baripada Municipality chairman.

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