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Odishatv Bureau

Berhampur: Aimed at providing drinking water to the city dwellers in Berhampur and nearby villages, the Janibili project's progress can be termed as tardy at best. While the residents of the city are yet to receive supply of clean drinking water, they have raised allegations that the delay in the project is resulting in traffic congestion within the city.

The project which was started in the year 2014 was supposed to be completed by 2018. However, the delay in completion of the project has raised doubts among the residents. Moreover, the laying of pipelines and digging work have resulted in narrowing of roads leading to traffic congestion, sources said.

"The newly-constructed roads have been destroyed due to the digging work. Taking into consideration the current pace, there is no possibility of completion till 2021," claimed a resident of Berhampur.

Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) Commissioner, Chakravarti Singh Rathore said "There are some technical difficulties and so, we are laying the pipes carefully for which the locals might face some problem. But our first priority is drinking water supply. All the issues will be settled by May this year."

The Janibili Project which is being constructed at a cost of Rs 372 crore will supply drinking water to the city and 53 nearby villages.

On the other hand, Sitaram Panda, Executive Engineer, Public Health & Engineering department in Berhampur said that the work is almost complete and the project will be fully operational by May this year. "We will be able to cover 20-30 per cent of the area in the first phase after the project is inaugurated and supply drinking water to the whole area by May this year. We will try to complete the project as soon as possible," Panda said.

Berhampur MLA Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik said "It has been decided to inaugurate the project in the first week of March. After inauguration by Odisha CM, water will be supplied to some areas in the first phase."

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