Water scarcity in Odisha

Berhampur: Even before the arrival of summer, water scarcity has hit

several areas of this Silk City in south Odisha. Residents have been complaining about the water crisis.

“We are reeling under acute drinking water crisis for the last few days. While the wells in the localities have gone dry, the standposts do not yield water. The water supply by the public health engineering department (PHED) is also highly erratic,” said Malaya Basini Lenka, a housewife who lives in Rama Nagara.

“We have lodged complaints with the PHED office to improve the situation, but all in vain,” added Ranjita Padhy, another housewife.

“Due to the scarcity, we have to fetch buckets of water from other areas for drinking purpose, while going to take bath one of my relatives house in other locality in the town said Bhairab Bramha.

A similar scenario prevailed in Krushna Nagara’s Lanjipalli area, where water supply is erratic. People were seen fetching water from other areas.

PHED Executive Engineer (Berhampur) Sitaram Panda admitted there’s crisis in Rama Nagara and Krushna Nagara areas. “The water supply was disrupted as old pipes are getting replaced. Besides, there’s some technical issues which we are trying to resolve as soon as possible,” Panda said.

He said the department has been supplying water to the areas through tankers. “We have decided to install at least 120 water tanks, and dig eight bore-wells. As there is no alternative source to supply drinking water immediately, we have been dispatching water tankers as soon as we received complaints,” he added. Panda said 40 tankers have been pressed into service for this purpose.

Shortage of drinking water was aggravated last summer when supply from Bada Madhapur project, one of the sources of water supply to the town, reduced to around four million litres per day.

Frustrated with the ongoing crisis, residents of Rama Nagara locality detained junior engineers and supervisors of the public health engineering department (PHED) for about 45 minutes when they arrived to assess the situation on Monday night. They were allowed to go only after they promised to take care of the water crisis, a PHED official said.