BHAWANIPATNA: Fear of outbreak of water-borne diseases looms large over Dharamgarh NAC in Kalahandi district with people forced to consume contaminated water supplied through PHEO pipeline.
The piped water supply project provides water to all households under the NAC limits but people are receiving turbid water and have no other alternative but to consume it.
In 1971, the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation wing (RWSS) established the piped water supply project in Dharamgarh. Water from Tel river is lifted at Chilpa, treated with alum (combination of aluminium sulphate and potassium sulphate) and then supplied to households.
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Later when Dharamgarh was declared an NAC, the project was handed over to PHED.
Residents alleged that water is not being treated and provided directly from the river as a result of which, it is contaminated. “Water is being pumped from Tel and supplied directly to households.
Had it been treated properly, the water would not have been brown in colour or muddy in texture,” alleged Bidyadhar Sahu, a local.
Sources said till 2014, water used to be occasionally brown in colour and contaminated only during monsoon but over the last five years, supply of dirty water became a regular affair as pollution level in Tel river went up.
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Assistant Engineer of PHED, Biswanath Joshi said RWSS handed over the water supply project to PHED in 2014 and no water treatment plant had been constructed as a part of the project.
The PHED constructed an underground supply tank in which the water after being drawn from Tel is treated with alum and then pumped to the overhead tank from where it is supplied to households.
He said a water supply augmentation project for Dharamgarh town is underway at the cost of Rs 30 crore and would be completed by January 2020.
Under this project, a water treatment plant is being constructed where water after being lifted from Tel would be treated.