Pradeep Pattanayak

While the BJD-led government failed in quenching the thirst of Sindhupanka village in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s home district of Ganjam after 24 years in power, a migrant labourer with his minimum resources has been able to bring a hilly stream down to his village. 

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been representing from the Ganjam district for the last 24 years. In this district, there is a Sindhupanka village, where development is still a mirage. 

Long-standing Problem 

At the advent of summer, the villagers face problems in getting their daily quota of drinking water. But the situation is no longer the same. 

A 37-year-old migrant labourer, Bhima Behera has turned the fate of the villagers. 

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Behera works as a labourer in Kerala to keep the pot boiling back at home. He earns Rs 500 a day. He sends a portion of his earnings to his family and keeps a portion aside to quench the villagers’ thirst. 

An Innorvative Idea 

Before the onset of summer, he came to his village. He bought two plastic water tanks and some pipes. While one tank is placed atop the till to collect stream water, the second tank is kept at the foot of the hill and both the tanks are connected with pipes.
With this innovative idea, Behera has solved the drinking water problem in his village. For this, he spent Rs 35,000. 

“The drinking water problem was acute in our village. In the summer season it would aggravate. I had saved some money. After consulting my villagers, I undertook the project, spending all my savings. Now, the drinking water problem is solved to some extent,” said Behera with a sense of contentment. 

Government Apathy 

The villagers, who unsuccessfully took their problem up with the administration on several occasions, are thankful of Behera for being able to do what the government failed in its 24 years of rule. 

“From the government, we are getting nothing but rice. We have been highlighting our drinking water problem, road problem and electricity problem to the government officials but to no avail," said a villager.

No comments were received from the concerned government officials. 


(By Satyanarayan Padhi)