SAMBALPUR: Balbashpur village in Kilasama gram panchayat of the district is located just about 10 km away from Left Dyke of Hirakud Dam. The 1,500 inhabitants, though, feel the pangs of water scarcity every year when summer sets in.
A dry zone, water level in the village depends on Sason canal, which is barely a kilometre away from the village, besides the Hirakud dam reservoir (HDR).
The six water bodies in the village have knee-deep muddy water and it will dry up after release of water from HDR to Sason Main canal is stopped around mid-May when summer is at its peak. This apart, there are two tubewells in the village, but the water flow is thin.
What has added to the problems of villagers is the receding water level in HDR. People have to trek at least 4 to 5 km to reach the shore of the dam reservoir to collect water.
Villagers also depend on a water ditch, which is popularly known as ‘Panch Number’ located inside the HDR close to the airstrip at Jamadarpali, for drinking water. Ahead of summer, villagers raise the embankment of ‘Panch Number’ so that it can hold more water.
Rajesh Bhue of the village said they used to collect drinking water from a water body in the village but after outbreak of diarrhoea five years back, people stopped using it.
Executive Engineer, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS), Sambalpur, Motilal Tiwari said Balbaspur comes under dry zone despite being located just below the Left Dyke of HDR.
He said commissioning of the Phase-II of Integrated Rural Piped Water Supply (IRPWS) Project, ground work for which is underway at Pradhanpali in Dhankauda block, would mitigate their problem. Rengali MLA Ramesh Chandra Patua said the proposed Integrated Rural Piped Water Supply (IRPWS) project is the only solution to the problem. He has also approached WODC Chairman Kishore Mohanty to sanction funds for renovation and revival of the traditional water harvesting structure in his water-stressed constituency.