JHARSUGUDA: The district is facing acute water crisis due to plummeting groundwater level and rising temperature. All ponds, wells, canals and borewells in several areas of the district have also dried up.
Sources said around 15 water supply projects and 119 borewells in rural areas are out of order. While the only source of water supply by tankers is not feasible in villages, the drinking water supplied in peripheral areas of MCL and OPGC is not sufficient to meet the requirements.
District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) sources said out of 6,555 tubewells in five blocks of the district, 119 are lying defunct. Similarly, the borewells are not working properly due to electrical snags. As a result, villagers are waiting for hours together in the scorching heat to fetch a bucket of drinking water from a few tubewells.
Sources said as many as 56 tubewells in Lakhanpur, 23 in Laikera, 29 in Kolabira, six in Kirmira and five in Jharsuguda blocks are not working. Although self-employed mechanics (SEMs)/repair teams have been engaged in the gram panchayats, the tubewells are not being maintained regularly.
Similarly, in rural areas, out of 180 pipe water supply projects, 15 projects are not working. Laikera block is the worst affected with eight water supply projects lying defunct. At least four pipeline systems in Jharsuguda block, two in Kolabira and one in Kirmira blocks have been damaged.
Locals have demanded before the district administration to ensure drinking water supply by repairing the damaged-projects on a war footing.
Meanwhile, Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kishore Das on Wednesday reviewed various water supply projects at a meeting with the officers of Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) and Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS). Das asked the officials to take necessary measures to streamline the water supply projects and engage tankers to supply water in the affected areas immediately.
Collector B B Patnaik, PD DRDA JR Pradhan, engineers of PHED and RWSS and BDOs were present at the meeting.