BALANGIR: Two tube-wells for 400 households of Kapilabhata village under Bangomunda block and one for 600 families of Bhalumunda village under the same block. This is the scene in several villages of Bangomunda block in Balangir district, which has been experiencing temperature above 44 degree Celsius this summer. The villages reflect a picture of neglect and acute water scarcity.
In Turekela village too under the same block only two tube-wells are functional. Villagers collect drinking water from a lone well in a phased manner.
With the ground water level depleting rapidly and other natural sources like ponds and rivers drying up, many areas of the district like Bangomunda, Lathore, Sindhekela and Saintala are in the grip of severe shortage. Sources said, Khaprakhol and Gudvela blocks too are facing a similar crisis.
Rivers like Lath in Belpara, Arjuni in Bangomunda, Rahul in Gudvela, Suktel in many places of Patnagarh and Loisingha blocks have dried up. Ponds, ‘chahala’, ‘kata’ and ‘munda’ from which people used to scrape out some water, too have gone dry.
Despite the blistering heat, women and children walking in long distances with a pitcher in the left hand and three other vessels on their heads to fetch water from rivers and ponds is a common scene.
Jayantilal Hans of Kapilabhata village said, there are only three tube-wells of which one is non-functional. Executive Engineer, RWSS, SC Mahanta said the department has started repairing defunct tube-wells and water is also being supplied through tankers. The administration is working round-the-clock to provide drinking water to the villages, Mahanta added.