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Saswat Singhdeo

Dhenkanal: Lack of access to clean drinking water in several villages across Odisha is emerging as a major challenge with some villages already paying a steep price.

Julanga village under Kamakhyanagar in Dhenkanal has lost 50 of its residents in the past 10 years and all of those deaths are linked to kidney ailments due to consumption of contaminated water. More than 30 people are also suffering from similar ailments and the cost of it is not just financial.

The 240 families residing in the village reportedly have no access to clean water and are forced to use water from tube-wells and wells which allegedly is leading to kidney-related ailments.

“Doctors are saying that contaminated water is the reason why we are falling sick. State government should provide us medicines,” said Manoj Kumar Sahu, a villager suffering from kidney-related ailment.

Sub-divisional Health Officer of Kamkhyanagar, Dr Ratnakar Samal, said, “We will send a team of doctors to the village for inspection and after a report we will take adequate steps to resolve the issue.”

Similarly, many residents of Samantarapur village in Ganjam district have lost their lives to kidney-related ailments due to consumption of contaminated water.

Out of the three tube-wells in the village, two are lying defunct. Villagers complain that muddy water comes out of the remaining tubewell and water turns yellowish when it is stored.

“We are getting muddy water from the tubewell. Doctors have warned us, but we are helpless,” said Kamini Dalai, a local resident.

Speaking on the issue, Ganjam collector Vijay Amruta Kulange assured that steps are being taken to resolve the issue at the earliest.

“We are trying to find out new sources of water for villagers. There have been complaints from residents of some villages. We are taking adequate steps to resolve the issue,” said Kulange.

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