CUTTACK: Lack of access to clean drinking water ostensibly due to apathy of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) department has compelled people of Sukhuakhala village to use contaminated water of Rana river.
Clean piped water supply remains a distant dream for around 150 families of Sukhuakhala under Damapada block since long. According to them, the water coming out of the two tube wells installed at two ends of the village by the department has high iron content. This has forced them to depend on Rana river.
During summer, when the river dries up, the villagers dig pits on its bed and collect water for cooking and drinking purpose. In rainy season also, women and children fetch polluted water from the river. “We boil the river water and then use it for cooking and drinking purposes,” said the villagers adding that the water crisis has been continuing for more than three decades. “I have been experiencing drinking water problem here since I came here as a newly-wed bride,” said Mamata Gochhi, a middle aged woman.
The villagers alleged that the RWSS department has shown no proactive interest to solve the problem. Though the department has dug a bore well in the middle of the village, pipes are yet to be connected.
While contacted, Engineer of the department Baishnab Mallik said steps have been taken to set up a pipe water project to provide safe drinking water to the villagers at a cost of Rs 12 lakh. “Efforts are on to stretch pipeline and get electric connection to supply water by October,” said Mallik.