Subadh Kumar Nayak

Rourkela: With an objective to resolve the issue of water scarcity during summer season in Rourkela, the Forest department officials have started a new project in the Steel City by preserving rainwater.

As per official sources, a hill watershed project in Durgapur hill has been taken up at a cost of Rs 4 crore to address the water scarcity problem which has been a perennial problem for nearly four lakh residents of the city. Around one lakh saplings will be planted in the hill under the project to conserve rain water. Besides, staggered trenches, small pits, check dams and stone bund have been made for the purpose.

"The hill has become almost treeless. We will plant trees and carryout other water conservation initiatives which will help to increase the ground water level. Thus, we expect that the tube wells and dug wells not dry up during summer season," said Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF), Rourkela, Dilip Sahu.

"We have already started plantation of samplings and soil moisture conservation. We hope to complete the project within two years," informed Rourkela DFO, Sanjay Kumar Swain.

With the completion of the project, it is expected that the water shortage situation is likely to ease to a great extent. Besides, it will increase the ground water level by two metres and bring down the day temperature by at least two degree Celsius in Rourkela.

"From nature, we get everything including rains and it is our responsibility to protect everything that we get from it. Everyone especially the students should be made aware about the importance of water conservation. I think the initiative of the forest officials will help in increasing the ground water level," said environmentalist, Motilal Das.