Water crisis grips many Odisha villages
Bhubaneswar: With the prevailing intense heat wave, many villages of Odisha now are reeling under water crisis other than many other related problems. Water woes are mounting with each passing day mainly in the western districts of the state. The plummeting groundwater level has made the situation worse.
The situation has turned alarming in several villages of the state. Nevertheless, the parched residents are eagerly waiting for the arrival of this year’s monsoon which is predicted, to be delayed.
According to Dr. Mrityunjay Mohapatra of IMD, as per the latest forecast, monsoon will hit Kerala coast on June 6 to advance further. Resultantly, the arrival of monsoon in Odisha will be delayed. Normally monsoon hits Odisha coast towards June 10. Yet, this year, if the above prediction will take shape, monsoon will hit the state towards June 20, two weeks after it hits Kerala.
With mounting temperatures and resulting water scarcity, people in several villages of Sambalpur and Kandhamal districts have resorted to using dirty water for their daily needs. The residents are forced to use the same due to unavailability of an abundant number of well, tube well or any other source of clean drinking water in these area.
There were six tube-wells in the Charabhati village of Loisingh Panchayat in Jharusuguda. However, as two of them are defunct the other two are the only recourse for the villagers.
Women in large number are seen walking through farms and fields with utensils and buckets over their heads to collect water. But despite all the hard effort, they need to bank on an unhygienic water source, which provides them unclean water for their daily chores.
According to the villagers, earlier there were six overhead water tanks in the village from where they were being supplied water. Yet, as of now none of them are working. And due to the lackadaisical attitude of the administration, for the last five years, the water supply has been stopped.
Asked about it District Collector Bibhuti Bhusan Das said that the administration is aware of it. The arrangement has already been made and the water projects will start working very soon. However, the villagers are not ready to believe government promises until it is worked out. They rather bank on nature and eagerly waiting for the monsoon.
Similarly, people in Tukunipadar and Sanajatajira villages of Phiringia block in Kandhamal travel a long distance to collect water due to unavailability of well, tube well in their village from where they can collect clean drinking water.
There are more than sixty families live in the village all of whom depend on a tube well, which is the only source of water in the village. The villagers have demanded two more tube-wells with the government. With traditional water bodies such as ponds, chahala, kata, munda and bandha drying up, the villagers now rely on the tube well which is not enough to meet their daily needs.
According to Biswanath Barik, Project Director, DRDA of Kandhamal, “The defunct tube wells in the village will be repaired soon and if required new tube-wells will also be installed.”