HARBHANGA (BOUDH): As the temperature soars, the intense heat wave is taking a toll on water sources in villages under Harbhanga block. People are forced to fall back on ‘chuan’ or water holes on the dried up bed of river Mahanadi and other rivers to collect water.
The block has more than 1,200 tubewells and 100 piped water projects. These facilities are not enough to meet the water demands of locals.
A case in point is Nuakodasingha village in Harbhanga gram panchayat. The village is inhabited by 16 families and there is one tubewell. As all families cannot use the tubewell at a given point of time, they also depend on a pond and a nullah in the village for ablution and other domestic purpose. While the water bodies have dried up, villagers are now digging up ‘chuan’ to collect water. It is mostly the women and children who spend the entire day in collecting water from the ‘chuan’.
Last month, a drinking water project was commissioned at Charchak - the block headquarters of Harbhanga - at a cost of `12 lakh. It functioned well for a few days but is lying defunct now. Tubewells, too, are lying defunct.
“Tubewells are not dug up till the desired level which is why, the facilities do not ooze water during summer,” said a local, Priti Ranjan Das. Apparently, gram panchayats are ignorant of the fact that they are supposed to maintain the tubewells.
The water scene in Hatigarh, Bhabapur, Nuapada, Atalasara, Kumari, Talagaon, Budhaamba, Geredisahi, Siripaju and Semiguda is no different. Repeated attempts to contact Harbhanga BDO, Nihar Ranjan Kanhar, proved futile.