BALANGIR: The twin problems of soaring temperature and acute scarcity of water are back to haunt the residents of Balangir in present summer.With a population of more than one lakh, the town often faces acute water scarcity as the existing project that supplies water to the town from Tel river in Sonepur, around 25 km from here, hardly serves the purpose. In summer, the problem multiplies as long queues of the residents near standposts and tankers to collect water turns a common sight.
Localities like Tikrapara, Malpara, Rameswar Nagar, Talpalipara, Railway Station Road, Sudpara, Shantipara, Barpalipara, Radharanipara, Indira Nagar and College Chowk are the worst affected. According to sources, the town requires at least 18 million litre of water per day. But, only 14.5 million litre is being supplied presently that too if the pump works for at least 18 hours a day. Officially the town has 7,191 water connections and 936 tubewells.
Earlier, Maharani Sagar, a 107-acre tank, was the main source of water supply to the town. But due to heavy encroachment on the pond’s embankment and mismanagement, the supply has now been completely disrupted. The administration had tried to draw water from Suktel river near Chhatamakhna village but it was not enough to meet the demand of the burgeoning population.
Jayashree Sahu, a home maker from Malpara area, said residents of her locality are facing numerous problems due to the crisis. “The authorities concerned must take steps to address the issue,” she said.
Executive Engineer of PHEO PM Parida said steps are being taken to supply water as per the needs of the residents of the town. “We are facing problems like erratic electricity supply and leakage in pipeline,” he said, adding if needed water tankers will be engaged to deal with the situation.