Anger over drinking water scarcity spills on to streets in Odisha
The agitators, who are reportedly reeling under acute water crisis since the last several months, blocked the NH with buckets and containers near Mahuldiha at around 7 am.
Published: 28th January 2023 06:22 AM | Last Updated: 28th January 2023 06:22 AM | A+A A-
BARIPADA: Traffic on National Highway-220 was paralysed for over three hours as residents of Mahuldiha and Baidaposi in ward no-2 of Rairangpur municipality staged road blockade over drinking water scarcity in the area on Friday.
Incidentally, the house of President Droupadi Murmu is located in ward no-2. The agitators, who are reportedly reeling under acute water crisis since the last several months, blocked the NH with buckets and containers near Mahuldiha at around 7 am.
Blaming the municipality authorities and officials of Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) for erratic supply of drinking water, Harapriya Patra, an agitator, said ward no-2 is one of the most-populated areas of the town. The population of the ward is nearly 2,500. However, the residents are struggling to get a bucket of drinking water every day.
“Though there is a mega water supply project situated a few km away from the area, we have to trek miles to fetch drinking water from other wards. Earlier, the residents used to get piped water supply twice a day. But currently, the supply is erratic due to which we are facing a lot of difficulties,” she claimed.
Sources said while President Murmu’s house is in ward no-2, Rairangpur MLA Naba Charan Majhi resides in ward no-1. Despite this, the residents continue to grapple with water scarcity. Another agitator Rangalata Mandan said residents have submitted several memorandums to the authorities concerned over the drinking crisis. However, all their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
On being informed, officials of the district administration rushed to the protest site and assured the agitators of providing them regular pipe water supply. Subsequently, the road blockade was lifted at 10.30 am. Contacted, sub-collector Saroj Das said he has directed the officials of PHEO and Rairangpur municipality to visit the ward and address the problem at the earliest.