BALANGIR: With piped water supply going completely haywire in Balangir district, people here are facing one of the worst water crisis ever.
While ground water level has decreased in Bongamunda, Saintala, Khaprakhol and Gudvella blocks, the situation is no different in villages under Lathore and Sindhekela gram panchayats where most of the ponds and rivulets have dried up. Some of these dried up water bodies are river Lanth in Belpara, Arjuni Nullah in Bangomunda and river Rahul in Gudvella.
Many of the villagers are yet to get piped water supply connections, making things worse.
For 400 households in Kapilabhata village under Bangomunda block, there are just two tubewells to meet the water requirement. Similarly in Dharuakhman village under Belpara block, the lone tubewell does not suffice. Women have to walk till outskirts of the village to collect water from a nullah.
Goutam Bag, a resident of Bhalukuna village in Turekela block, said they are facing water scarcity as most of the water bodies have dried up and there is only one tube well in the village.
Executive Engineer of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS), SC Mahanta said defunct tubewells are being repaired to solve water crisis and if the situation prevails, water will be supplied to the villagers by tankers.
At Balangir town, water scarcity has become a common feature during summer. The town with a population of more than one lakh, often faces acute water scarcity due to irregular water supply by the existing piped water project. The project supplies water to the town from river Mahanadi in Sonepur.
Tikrapara, Malpara, Rameswar Nagar, Talpali Para, Radharani Para, College Chowk, Shanti Para, Sudpara, Mahalaxmi Nagar and Railway Station Road of Balangir town are the worst hit during this time of the year.
Sources said the town has a demand of 13 million litre per day (MLD), but the PHD supplies just nine MLD. There are around 2000 legal water connections in the town.
Apart from the piped water project, locals depend on stand posts in the town and water is also supplied by the Municipality through four tankers daily.