BHUBANESWAR: Alleging that the Government has completely failed to tackle the acute drinking water crisis in Odisha, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday sought intervention of Governor SC Jamir to solve the issue and ensure provision of potable water to people across the State.
Criticising the Government for its failure to provide safe drinking water to a majority of people, State president of BJP Basant Panda said the situation is very grim in many parts of the State where women have to walk several kilometres to collect water.
Panda, who covered eight districts during the party’s Jana Kalyan Yatra launched on April 7 from Chandahandi block in Nabarangpur district, alleged that there are no drinking water sources in many villages. Most of the tube wells, which cater to drinking water requirement of people in rainy and other seasons, have become defunct as water level has gone down, he said.
The State BJP president alleged that many piped water projects started by the Government are yet to be completed for several years. There is outbreak of jaundice in several places including Bhubaneswar and Cuttack as the State Government has failed to ensure provision of safe drinking water, he said.
Panda maintained that even after 69 years of Independence, 88 per cent of the villages do not have pipe water connection. Out of 81,73,296 rural households, only 1,06,787 have piped water connection, which is less than 1.3 per cent.
Out of 1,57,296 villages in Odisha, only 10,137 have pipe water connection. The State Government had announced in 2016-17 Budget to launch 600 new pipe water projects and renovate 500 defunct projects.
Panda said these 1100 projects when completed will ensure drinking water supply to about 1500 villages. Despite the steps taken by the Government, more than 1.38 lakh villages will be without any drinking water provision, he said.
Alleging that the Government has completely failed to stop smuggling of cows from Odisha, Panda said a BJP team will soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard. Referring to the letter written by Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on April 12 to take steps to stop smuggling of cattle from the State, Panda demanded immediate measures by the Government in this regard.
A delegation of BJP led by Panda also submitted a memorandum to the Governor in this regard. State vice-presidents Samir Mohanty and Sukeshi Oram, chief spokesperson Sajjan Sharma, general secretaries Lekhashree Samantsinghar, Dillip Mallik and Kalindi Samal were part of the delegation.