Odisha reels under intense heat wave; water scarcity hits Sonepur

Bhubaneswar: Normal life across Odisha, particularly in western districts, has been adversely affected following an intense heat wave condition, which is prevailing for the last one week. As many as 15 places of the State recorded temperature over 40 degree Celsius on Saturday. Mercury rose to 45 degree Celsius in Titlagarh followed by Bolangir and Talcher, which sizzled at 43.5 and 43.3 degree Celsius respectively yesterday.

Scorching heat and drinking water crisis has compounded the miseries of people at Manikpur village under Biramaharajpur block in Sonepur district.

With no proper drinking water provision, people have to depend on ‘chua’ (small pits on dry riverbed) to meet their daily requirements.

“As we don’t have drinking water facilities, we are facing difficulties here. It takes more than two hours to fill a pot from the pit on the riverbed. Even small children have to be engaged to collect water,” said a villager of Manikpur, Gita Jhankar.

Though a water tank was established and pipelines laid to supply drinking water to the village under the Harihar Jor irrigation project, the project has remain non-starter for the last five years.

Another villager Ugrasen Hati said, “Even after five years, the project is yet to be made operational. The officials visit the frequently and leave only after making false promises.”

Executive Engineer of Water and Sanitation Department Bipin Chandra Dash informed, “We had made arrangements to provide water from production well. However, after the villagers did not agree to take water from production well, we have set up intake well in Harihar Jor to supply water. As soon as the electric lines of the well gets charged, the water supply will begin within two weeks.”