BHADRAK:Chandbali block of the coastal Bhadrak district does not have enough tubewells to cater to drinking water needs of people. Despite the rising temperature and water scarcity, the administration is yet to take steps to provide drinking water to rural households. People of 22 villages in five panchayats of the block neither have piped water supply system nor adequate number of tubewells to depend on for their water needs.
To add to their misery, the existing tubewells are either defunct or ooze out saline water. Villagers of Haladia, Majhisahi, Bahadiha, Madhapur and Jantuali in Chandbali block are either dependent on pond water or have to trek two kms and stand in long queue to fetch drinking water.
Of the 294 villages in the block, 33 have only one tubewell that is lying defunct for the last six months. Villages like Natha Sahi, Sethi Sahi and Bhuin Sahi neither have any water supply system nor tubewells. The population of 500 people of Behera Sahi depended on one tubewell in their area but that too has been lying defunct for some days.
Haripur, Ana Sahi, Tiadi Sahi, Samal Sahi and Gopal Sahi have only one tubewell and villagers have to stand in queue from early morning to collect a bucket of water. Sources said going by the population, the villages should have at least three tubewells each to meet drinking water demand.
According to official reports, Chandbali block needs over 2,500 tubewells but there are only 1,700. Of the 1,700, 680 are non-functional.
Work on eight drinking water projects has been moving at snail’s pace. Of the 40 projects, work on 32 has been completed till date.
Assistant Engineer of Chandabali PHED, Pankaja Sethi said 50 tubewells had been sunk last year and work on 132 more will be started this year. He added that PHED has also started repairing defunct tubewells.