KENDRAPARA: With mercury showing a rising trend, residents of at least 220 villages located in the coastal area of Kendrapara are facing an acute drinking water crisis. Saline content in water coming from tubewells near the sea makes it unfit for drinking.
Most of the tubewells are lying defunct due to the depletion in groundwater level, forcing the villagers to use contaminated water from various sources to quench their thirst.
“We are facing this situation for the last several years. There is no water to drink. Politicians visiting us during the elections are only concerned about the votes and not solving our problems,” said Arabinda Mandal, former Sarpanch of Jamboo Gram Panchayat.
No efforts have been made by the Government and district administration to repair the tubewells, Mandal added.
“As many as 10 tubewells have been damaged by the advancing sea water over the decade in the coastal Satabhaya gram panchayat. Now, almost 4,000 villagers depend on the existing two tubewells of which only one is functioning,” said Nigamananda Rout, Sarpanch of Satabhaya.
People residing in Trolikapur, Batighar, Kansarbadadandua, Brajabahakuda, Baradanga, Ramnagar, Musadiha and other coastal villages under Mahakalpada block and Gupti, Kanhupur, Sailendranagar, Halidipur and other villages under Rajnagar block are the worst affected.
Amarbara Biswal, a social worker, alleged that around 1,200 tubewells are lying defunct due to the negligence of the contractors and the department concerned.
Collector Debraj Senapati said, “The district administration has directed all the Block Development Officers and RWSS officials to repair the tubewells and supply water in tankers in the water-hit villages.” “We are monitoring the water problem every day,” he added.