BALANGIR: Karanga Kata pond, the oldest in Balangir town, is dying a slow death. Choked with pollution and unchecked dumping of garbage and plastic waste, there is little water left in the pond.
Even as water of the pond is contaminated and covered with algae, at least 3,000 people of various localities around the water body continue to use it for consumption and domestic purposes.
Such is the condition that the pond has been drying up during summer for the last two years and this year, locals apprehend that Karanga Kata will dry up by June. Apparently, it is the largest water body in the town after Maharani Sagar.
The local administration has in the past spent `1 crore for desiltation and renovation of the pond but that has been of little help. Locals continue to dump garbage in the pond that was once popular for its crystal clear water. Old timers said if a coin was thrown into the pond it could be seen easily due to its clean water.
Karanga Kata and 16 other ponds were dug up by the Balangir royal family. While Karanga Kata was located in the heart of the town, it was interconnected with the other ponds.
Prashant Mahakur, member of Karanga Kata Bachao Samiti, an outfit fighting for revival and renovation of the pond, said systematic planning for revival of the pond is the need of the hour. “Karanga Kata pond in Balangir is important for meeting the town’s water needs”, he said, adding that if needed his outfit will go to court.
Last year, Balangir Collector Arindam Dakua had initiated some work for the pond’s renovation. He had held discussions with the outfit members and assured formation of a high-level committee to look into the work. But, no visible work has been initiated yet.
Executive Officer of Balangir Municipality, Bipin Bihari Deep said a proposal on renovation of the Karanga Kata pond has been submitted to the State Government.