ROURKELA: The scorching summer refuses to relent and so does water scarcity. The crisis is aggravating with each passing day in Rourkela Industrial Township (RIT) under the territorial jurisdiction of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP).
Owing to the chaotic water situation, RSP has come under fire even as mercury on Sunday shot up to 45 degree Celsius in Sundargarh district.
In fact, RSP woke up late to fight the crisis. Blaming it on drastic fall in water level of river Koel, the RSP management advised water conservation and announced measures to regulate water supply. This has been resented by the residents and trade unions.
Sources said peak demand for RSP’s RIT is 15.5 million gallons per day (MGD), but the supply has come down to half.
The RSP has about 17,000-odd workforce, including 2,000-odd executives and the area is spread over 19 sectors with 24,500 staff quarters, 5,675 shops and 500 km of water supply lines.
The Hill Top pump house at Sector-20 draws water from river Koel and meets 75 per cent of RIT’s requirement, while the rest 25 pc is met by Brahmani Water Works, Sector-8, through Tarkera pump house using water from river Brahmani.
RSP’s BMS-affiliated recognised trade union Rourkela Ispat Karkhana Karmachari Sangh (RIKKS) and Prashant Behera-led faction of Rourkela Shramik Sangh (RSS) of INTUC launched a scathing attack on RSP and threatened agitation.
General secretary, RIKKS, Himanshu Bal said BMS on Friday suggested RSP Chief Executive Officer Ashwini Kumar to press 50 water tankers to check the crisis. As RSP is resorting to only 40 minutes piped water supply per day, the present facility of supplying water through 15 tankers is inadequate, Bal said.
Significantly, the total population of the RIT is about 2.16 lakhs, including about one lakh unauthorised slum dwellers who are not covered by RSP’s pipe water supply. In a glaring instance of water wastage on normal days, the RSP was supplying 15.5 MGD, which is equivalent to 69.75 MLD for 1.18 lakh people, while the PHD in Rourkela Municipal Corporation limits supplies maximum of 47 MLD for 3.09 lakh people.