SONEPUR : Even four years after the foundation stone for drinking water project at Sonepur town was laid by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the project is yet to see the light of day. Apart from the delay, reduced flow of water in the Mahanadi river has added to the woes of the people.
Although Sonepur town is surrounded on three sides by rivers Mahanadi and Tel, water scarcity is reported from Viveka Nagar, Ramji Nagar, Gokarneswar, Patabhadi, Kulapada, Spinning Mill Chowk, Gridco Colony and Shanti Nagar even during monsoon.
The town, which has a population of about 25,000, requires 3.7 Million Litres Per Day (MLD). Sources said the drinking water supply in the town was initiated in the late 80’s from Dasmathi Ghat of the Mahanadi river. But with rising population, fresh plans were made to augment drinking water supply and an overhead tank was dedicated by former Housing and Urban Development Minister K V Singhdeo.
However, with the overhead tank failing to meet the water requirement, a new drinking water project was initiated at an estimated cost of Rs five crore and the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for an overhead tank on February 8, 2013. It is envisaged to draw water from an intake well at Gokarneswar Ghat and pump it to two overhead tanks for supply after filtration. The project aims to meet the drinking water needs of the entire town.
First, it took about a year to finalise the tender while the work on the overhead tanks at Patabhadi and MLA Pada is yet to be completed. To compound the problem, the contractor has left the work halfway. Similarly, roads have been dug up from Nalin Chowk to Circuit House and Jail Chowk to Patabhadi to lay pipelines of the project. But the work remains incomplete. Assistant Executive Engineer, Sonepur, Biklash Chandra Padhi said fresh tender for the project has been finalised and agreement will be signed within 10 days after which work will be resumed.