It has been more than five years since the foundation for piped water supply project was laid in Sindurpank gram panchayat of Maneswar block of the district. But the project remains incomplete even today.
This despite the fact that villagers have been facing water scarcity with the rise in mercury and the problem has been getting worse with each passing year.
Work on the water project began in 2007-08 financial year and was supposed to be completed within two years by the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) wing.
It was estimated to cost around `98.75 lakh of which `93.59 lakh has already been spent on laying pipes, electrification and construction of a cross dam for the project.
Although just a small share of the total estimated money remains unspent, the project has not been started due to slow pace of work. If commissioned, the project will meet the drinking water needs of 10,000 villagers of the gram panchayat.
The villagers lamented that despite being aware of the water scarcity, the RWSS officials have been negligent towards timely completion of the project. They added that laying of pipe lines has not been completed in many areas like Dandeipali, Harijanpada, Madrasipada, and Saharapada villages of the gram panchayat. Under these circumstances, the people mostly depend on the village pond for drinking water needs. Situation turns worse during summer when the pond dries up and they have to walk for several kms to fetch water. “This is the situation every summer. We have apprised the authorities concerned including the Collector of the situation. None seems to bother though,” said Narahari Das, a villager.
Executive Engineer of RWSS, Sambalpur division, Suresh Mahanta said a trial run of the project will be done after installation of a micro filter. “Since we cannot supply untreated water, we are waiting for installation of a micro-filter and if everything goes well, we will commission the project by March-end,” he said.