Pipeline laying work slow, villagers in Odisha face water crisis
The project to supply drinking water through pipelines was started two years back. However, the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) authorities are yet to complete the work.
KENDRAPARA: The delay in laying pipelines has worsened the drinking water crisis in Chhoti, Oldhi, Chatara, Chakoda, Chata, Gunapur, Netua and several other villages under Derabish block. The project to supply drinking water through pipelines was started two years back. However, the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) authorities are yet to complete the work.
Sanjiv Parida of Chhoti village said locals face acute drinking water scarcity during summer every year. “People here lack access to safe water. They often have no choice but to drink polluted water from rivers, canals and ponds. Besides, children and women are forced to stand in serpentine queues to collect water due to heavy rush near the tube-wells and tankers,” he rued.
Another villager Sabita Behera said in the last election, leaders of several political parties had assured the villagers to solve the water crisis in the region. However, they are yet to fulfil the promise. “Due to non-availability of water, we have to trek one km to collect water from the nearby Birupa river as the three tube-wells in our village are not functioning since the last six months,” she said.
The villagers claimed that they have repeatedly approached the administration to solve the water crisis but to no avail. Jagannath Mallick of Netua said, “We have already urged the authorities to either complete the pipeline laying work or repair the defunct tube-wells in our village. However, the officials concerned have turned a deaf ear to our pleas.”
Assistant engineer of RWSS, Derabish Debashis Dhal said, “We had engaged a contractor for laying new pipelines and repairing the old ones. However, some villagers demanded replacement of all the old pipelines due to which the work is moving slowly. “Currently, we are supplying drinking water to villagers through tankers.”