BARIPADA: Even after two years of foundation stone being laid, work on Jambhira drinking water project at Baripada is yet to take off. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had laid the foundation stone in 2013 and the deadline for completion was set for six months.
In the last two years, the cost of the project has escalated from `53 crore to `83.91 crore. Officials concerned are yet to finalise tender project, which will cater to water needs of one lakh population after it is completed. It was planned that the project would draw water from river Jambhira and distribute it throughout the township thereby solving the drinking water crisis here. The required land for the project has been demarcated and complete project report already prepared.
Nearly 2.15 acres of land at Purnachandrapur was selected for the project and layout was also prepared for the construction of pump house and water tanks. “But after a dispute over the land plot arose, no step has been taken to select another piece of land,” said a villager, Jitendra Das.
The population of the tribal town is around 1.35 lakh and the demand for drinking water is around 18.22 MLD of which, 14.8 MLD is being supplied by PHED.
Though Baripada Municipality has set up temporary drinking water supply facilities in the market area and roadsides to provide drinking water to the commuters, at many places such facilities are of no use.
People alleged the PHED water tanks do not come to all Wards regularly. Water supply to many areas has been disrupted due to leakages and blockages in PHED pipelines.
PHED Executive Engineer PM Parida said the tender for Jambhira project was cancelled due to high premium value. Tender would be floated once again along with three other big projects in the State, he said.
Parida said the department has started construction of one more underground water reservoir inside the hospital campus while at present, three overhead water reservoirs and 11 underground reservoirs are functioning in the town.