DHENKANAL: Even as the population of Dhenkanal is on the rise, there are not enough water sources in the town to meet the growing demands of the people.
Dhenkanal Municipality comprises 23 Wards, but eight Wards are not covered under piped water supply system by the Public Health and Engineering Department (PHD). The problem is acute in areas like Rameswarpur, Housing Board colonies, Bhagbanpur, Parbatia Sahi and Gajmara.
Dhenkanal has 19 production wells for water supply but water level has gone down by three metres in rivers Brahmani and Raimala as a result of which, the wells have gone dry.
Recently, people of Housing Board had gheraoed the PHD office demanding supply of drinking water. At present, PHD is supplying water for one-and-a-half-hour daily, which does not suffice.
Eight years back, the Government had sanctioned a drinking water project worth `31 crore under Urban Infrastructure Development in small and major towns. However, no funds were sanctioned for the project. “The project comprised an elevated storage reservoir (ESR) that could have supplied water even during power cuts,” said Assistant Engineer, PHD, Ashok Kumar Mishra.
Meanwhile, Dhenkanal division of PHD had sent a detailed project proposal worth `80 crore last month and the project also includes ESR facility. Municipality Executive Officer P Nayak said the PHD covers 12 Wards altogether. Currently, as many as 183 tubewells are defunct in eight blocks and 20 water projects are not functioning as ground water level has gone down. The problem is equally grim in many villages of the district. In Sankhua village of Sadar block, women have to travel for at least 5 km to fetch drinking water.