KANTAMAL (BOUDH): If any district which is worst affected by the reduction in flow of water in the Mahanadi river, it is Boudh. Coupled with rising temperature and malfunctioning tube-well due to depletion of water level, the water woes is all set to aggravate. The situation is no different in Kantamal block of the district along which Tel river flows before joining Mahanadi river at Sonepur. The people of the block struggle for every drop of water and the Rural Water and Sanitation department (RWSS) seems indifferent to their problem.
Take for instance Charbhati village under Rengali gram panchayat of the block. To overcome the water woes of the villagers, the State Government had launched ‘Jaldhara’ project in the village and accordingly the project was undertaken and the villagers were supposed to be provided piped water. The ‘Jaldhara’ initiative by the State Government was a major shift from hand pump tube-wells to pipe water supply scheme to ensure sustainable drinking water supply in rural areas.
The project was initiated in 2008-09 at an estimated cost of Rs 49.96 lakh. But it failed to take off right from the word go. As apprehended by the villagers, choice of wrong location for digging deep bore-well for the project proved to be a failure as no water was found at the spot. Since then, the project has ran into problem. Subsequently, an intake well was dug and it was connected with a check dam constructed across a nullah flowing nearby to a maintain water level of the intake well. But poor quality of work has heaped untold miseries on the people for getting water.
Instead of looking for sustainable and lasting alternative, a further amount of Rs 3 lakh was pumped into the project under Gopabandhu Gramin Yojana in 2016-17. While RWSS department has handed over the project to the gram panchayat, the project seems to have become a distant dream for the villagers.
Seshadeb Guru of the village said spending money is meaningless as the project has failed to fulfil the water requirement of the people for the last one year.
Sula Taria and Kansra Sahu said they are hoping for a lasting solution to their problem. They said though the State Government is spending a lot of money, those responsible to execute the work are indifferent to the needs of the people.
Renagli Gram Panchayat sarpanch Pramod Rana said the project has failed due to substandard quality of work and equipment. While water pipes are bursting due to its poor quality, the motors installed to pump water also break down frequently, he added. He said mere handing over the project to Gram Panchayat is not the solution as the GP cannot afford to get the setup replaced and maintain it.However, Junior Engineer, RWSS, Pradeep Kumar Jena shifted the onus on the Gram Panchayat and said they have handed over the project to the GP and it is their lookout to maintain the project.
● The State Government had launched ‘Jaldhara’ project in Charbhati village
● The villagers were supposed to be provided piped water
● The ‘Jaldhara’ initiative by the State Government was a major shift from hand pump tube-wells to pipe water supply scheme to ensure sustainable drinking water supply in rural areas
● The project was initiated in 2008-09 at an estimated cost of Rs 49.96 lakh