ANGUL: The residents of eight colonies under Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) in Talcher had to face a harrowing time for nearly five days this week due to nil supply of water to the households in the scorching heat.
The crisis here was of a different kind though. There is sufficient water, but there was no source to pump it. And this led to the crisis. Breakdown of one of the two high-powered pumps installed in Brahmani river to source water has led to the scarcity. The other pump that was on standby too got damaged forcing families to purchase water from market.
Unfortunately, there is no third standby pump to come to the rescue of workers in case of such exigencies. Worse still, the two pumps are nearly 20 years old and require urgent replacement. It is feared that if immediate measures are not taken to replace the pumps, a water crisis in the near future cannot be ruled out.
The situation was pitiable in Central Hospital where there was no water supply and the taps in doctor’s colony went dry for one whole day in scorching summer. On the intervention of higher MCL authorities, water was supplied to the hospital and its colonies on Thursday night. In some areas there was no supply for two days.
Meanwhile, though the company has started supplying water from an alternative source, total normalcy is yet to be restored.
There are about 6,000 households in eight MCL colonies at Talcher that are dependent on its own Integrated water supply system (IWSS). In the scorching heat, the IWSS supplies water once in a day instead of twice and the flow too is very less.
“The situation is precarious here. It is a shame that MCL, a leading mining subsidiary of ‘Maharatna’ Coal India Limited, has failed to supply drinking water to its workers. Steps should be taken on a war-footing to ensure normal supply soon,” said trade unionist Souvagya Pradhan, general secretary of INTUC.
The local authorities are doing the needful to solve the situation, said A Pandey, General Manager of civil supply department of MCL.