Pradeep Pattanayak

Odisha Governor Raghubar Das once again unmasked the state government with a post on his social media handle X. This time he highlighted how the women folk of Jabardast Pada in Sundargarh district are suffering to collect a pitcher full of water. 

Jabardast Pada is just seven kilometres away from Sundargarh district headquarters. It is inhabited by over 250 villages. The government has set up a solar drinking water pump project under the Buxi Jagabandhu Assured Water Supply to Habitations (BASUDHA) Yojana in the village. But it has been lying defunct. The village has two tube wells but they are of no use as neither of them is functioning. 

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The villagers alleged that they had already taken up the issue with the people’s representatives and district administration officials but to no avail. The lone pond they are depending on to quench their thirst is fast drying up with the summer setting in. 

After coming to know about the Governor’s Sundargarh visit, the women of Jabardast Pada came out in large numbers onto the road and stopped the carcade of the Governor. It was evening then. 

“There are around 250 families residing in the village. Our main problem is drinking water. We haven’t been receiving the supply of water for the last six months,” said Kapilash Kanta. 

Another villager Sanju Patra said, “We are experiencing problems due to non-availability of drinking water. We made the Governor see how we are suffering to get our daily quota of drinking water.” 

Upon hearing the villagers’ problems, the Governor expressed his desire to see the pond for himself. He along with the villagers walked up to the pond and the Governor was taken aback to see the sufferings of the people despite the central government’s Jal Jeevan Mission. He then directed the district administration officials to take immediate steps to mitigate the villagers’ sufferings. 

He immediately took to his X handle and narrated the whole incident along with a video clip. 
When asked, Sundargarh Sadar Block BDO, Motilal Sulia admitted the fact and said the defunct solar pump would be repaired soon. 

“The solar project has some problems. But we are trying to get the existing water supply project repaired soon,” said Sulia.

(Reported by Debabrata Jena )