JHARSUGUDA: Three industrial towns and its surrounding areas in the district are reeling under severe water problem with temperature rising and groundwater level plummeting.
Water scarcity has gripped Jharsuguda, Brajrajnagar and Belpahar municipalities as the civic bodies have failed to arrange supply of water through tankers. While the water demand is 155 litres per capita per day (LPCD), only 37.85 LPCD is being supplied in the three municipal areas. For the last two decades, the mines-affected townships of Belpahar and Brajrajnagar have been facing acute shortage of drinking water. This was due to rampant coal digging and use of groundwater by different industries.
In Jharsuguda, Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) supplies 494 million litres per day (MLD) water through different projects against the requirement of 1,816 MLD. While the town has a population of 1,17,175, the department is supplying drinking water to eight Wards through pipeline. Water is partially supplied to 10 Wards and the rest six are yet to get connection.
Residents of Brajrajnagar Municipality too face a similar plight. With a population of 82,922, the requirement of drinking water for the township is 1,285 MLD. However, the PHEO is supplying only 311 MLD water through 90 projects. Of the 21 Wards, 10 Wards are yet to get water supply. While several tube wells are lying defunct, womenfolk make beeline for tankers or public standposts to collect water.
At Belpahar, residents are facing a hard time to collect drinking water in the absence of adequate water supply by the civic administration. Out of total requirement of 684 MLD water, PHEO supplies 65 MLD water through 70 projects. “We are getting water once in 24 hours,” said Vinod Singh, a resident of Ward-4.
Executive Engineer of Jharsuguda PH Division Khymasil Patel said tender has been floated to supply more water to these towns by 2020. The municipal authorities, along with MCL, also provide water through tankers in several Wards and villages, he added.
Similarly, work on a project is going on to supply drinking water to these three townships from Hirakud reservoir at Chhadarama village. Executive Officer of Jharsuguda Municipality Ram Chandra Pradhan said steps are being taken to meet the water demands of the town.