ROURKELA: Amid fall of water level in at least four rivers, rivulets and water bodies along with depletion of ground water, Sundargarh district stares at drinking water scarcity.
The district administration, though, has discounted any such fear and advised people on conservation and judicious use of drinking water to arrest the situation.
The tributaries of Brahmani, Sankh and Koel flow from West and North-East of Sundargarh district before merging at Vedvyas of Rourkela city to form Brahmani river. Both rivers have dried up due to regulation of water flow of Sankh in Chhattisgarh and Koel in Jharkhand.
To cater to the drinking water needs of people under Rourkela Municipal Corporation limits, Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED) draws water from Brahmani through two intake wells at Panposh and two other intake wells at Koelnagar while Jhirpani draws water from Koel.
PHED Executive Engineer Alok Patel said they are supplying above 47 million litres per day (MLD) and there is no disruption in water supply.
On the other hand, the Ib river which supplies drinking water to Sundargarh district headquarters town is also drying up and its tributary Safei is in no better shape. Similarly, Aam rivulet catering to the needs of Rajgangpur town and Deo river flowing through Nuagaon block and joining Koel river are also running dry.
Water levels of four Medium Irrigation Dams at Talasra, Sarafgarh, Pitamahal and Kansbahal are at dead level, while overland flow of water in unspecified number of large and small streams has also reduced.
There is a noticeable fall in water holding of other water bodies and drop in ground water level with tube wells going defunct at many areas.
Sundargarh Collector Bhupendra Singh Poonia said, drop in surface and ground water levels is a short-lived phenomena and the situation is not alarming. If necessary, the administration would undertake dredging of river beds near intake wells for storing drinking water, he added.