BJP slams Odisha government over drinking water crisis

The party alleged the state govt has utilised just Rs 834 crore of Rs 10,000 crore sanctioned by Centre
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

BHUBANESWAR : With reports of drinking water crisis trickling in from several areas and voters threatening to boycott the upcoming elections, the BJP on Monday came down heavily on the state government for its failure to meet this basic need of people even after being in power for 24 years.

Lashing out at BJD for accusing the Opposition of obstructing development in the state, state BJP vice-president Golak Mohapatra told mediapersons that tap water supply under Jal Jeevan Mission has eluded around 40 per cent of households of the state.

The Narendra Modi government has provided financial assistance of Rs 10,000 crore under Jal Jeevan Mission to the state of which only Rs 834 crore has been utilised by the BJD government. Of the 88.68 lakh households in the state, tap water connection has not reached to around 24 lakh. Tap water has not reached 11,000 out of 46,000 villages as on date, he said.

Mohapatra said over 50 per cent households in backward districts like Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Kandhamal are facing hardships as they do not have access to safe drinking water.

Targeting 5T chairman VK Pandian for his comment that the Opposition is blind to the development taking place in the state, the BJP leader asked if it was a sign of development when 24 lakh households are going without tap water even after 24 years of BJD rule.

Claiming 30 per cent of schools in the state do not have tap water supply, Mohapatra said the students’ strength in a school in Kandhamal district has come down to 362 from 2,000. He attributed the high drop out of students to teachers engaging them to fetch drinking water from a distance of around two km.

He said the only job of the state government is to loot Central assistance by awarding drinking water supply contracts to blacklisted companies from outside Odisha. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should explain why people of the state are yet to have drinking water despite liberal Central assistance, said Mohapatra.

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