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Ramakanta Biswas

Koraput: Much to the disappointment of Jayanagar residents in Jeypore town of Koraput district, a dream ground water project, which once promised to alleviate all of their sufferings, has failed to quench the thirst of the locals even two years after its completion.

People of the town have alleged that the 9 lakh litre capacity project is yet to become fully functional and supply water to them regularly.

The main gate of the project is lying locked and it now resembles a haunted house with weeds developing around the campus of the building due to lack of proper maintenance. In the absence of regular use, the project machinery at the site is on the verge of ruin.

The residents further alleged that though they have drawn the attention of the concerned department officials, it yielded no result.

Alia Dhanphul, a local resident said, "The project work was completed more than one and half year ago, but we are not getting any water regularly. Whenever we seek an answer from the authorities, the concerned officials only give us assurances that it will become fully functional soon."

On the other hand, the project area has become a safe haven for anti-social elements due to lack of security, the locals alleged.

"The department officials never visit the project area and no guard is deployed here. As a result, it has become a hangout zone for criminals," said Chinmay Patnaik, another resident.

As per sources, the housing and urban development department executed the project in 2017-18 financial year. A sum of Rs 1.39 crore was spent for the project which was supposed to supply drinking water to ward No 1, 2 and 3 of Jeypore Municipality.

Meanwhile, the residents suspect that there are some technical glitches in the project work and demanded a probe into the matter.

Koraput Yuva Sangha convenor Rabindra Mohapatra said, "There must be some technical defects in the project for which it is not becoming operational yet. Despite repeated request, no action has been taken. We demand to make the project functional immediately. Otherwise we will launch massive protest in coming days."

The department engineer, however refuted any kind of issues with the project and claimed that it is supplying water to the residents as it should.

Additional executive engineer, public health, Jeypore, Chiranjibi Mahali, said, "Water is being supplied to the areas where there is scarcity. There are no technical issues in the project. We request people to meet us if they think there is problem in the project and we will clear the misunderstanding."

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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