Water scarcity in Berhampur Circle jail

Berhampur: Berhampur Circle Jail in south region of the State, which houses around 750 prisoners, is in the grip of severe water scarcity.

Water supplied to the jail through six borewells, three tubewells and by public health engineering organisation (PHEO) is not sufficient to meet the demands of inmates during summer, Jail officials said.

When the problem gets aggravated owing to fall in ground water level, the PHEO makes arrangement for water tankers.

This year, jail authorities have already procured a tanker (containing around 10,000 litre water) everyday for the last 10 days.

“We need at least six more borewells and a sump on the jail premises. PHEO engineers have estimated the cost of the project at Rs 28 lakh,” said Jailor R N Roul.

He said frequent breakdown in water supply from Rushikulya water supply scheme at Madhapura compounded the problem. Around 60 families living in the jail staff colony also faced the problem. There were only two borewells in the colony.

“Every year, we manage with great difficulty during the summer,” said Senior Superintendent Raghunath Majhi.

Construction of a permanent water-storage sump can be a permanent solution, Roul added.

Executive engineer (PHEO) D S Mohapatra said the crisis would be resolved with the replacement of pipeline in the entire town. The government has approved Rs 27.77 crore for repair and maintenance of a 20 million litre capacity clean water reservoir at Kaliabali, replacement of the existing 13.8 km-long 900-metre diameter PSC pumping and replacement of 1.8-km-long and 500-mm diameter pipeline in the town, he said.

Mohapatra added that these projects would be undertaken through the ongoing World Bank-aided Odisha Disaster Recovery Project.