Odisha: Residents clamor for drinking water, road jammed

Kendrapara: Residents of Bharatpur, Dayanapatana, Jagannathpur and Mehndipur villages under Kendrapara sadar block took to the streets on Sunday demanding immediate supply of drinking water.

Accusing the administration of turning a blind eye to the drinking water crisis in the villages, the agitators, including women and children, blocked the Kendrapara-Baspur road in Dyanapatana for nearly three hours with empty buckets.
“We have been demanding water for a long time but to no avail. We had requested the concerned authorities to supply water to our villages through pipelines or tankers. But the authorities did not take any action in this regard,” claimed Parbati Malik of Dyanapatana.
Since the tube wells have deteriorated, villagers are forced to stand in long queues under the scorching sun to get drinking water from the well, he said.
Sabita Jena of Bharatpur said that they have been facing severe water crisis for the last three months due to non-functioning of two tube wells in the village. Only one tube well is functional in Bharatpur and women have to wait in queues for hours to get water from it.
“Politicians come to us for votes but do not care about solving our problems. The administration is also indifferent towards our plight. Therefore, we were forced to create road blockades to press for our demand for drinking water,” she said.
Sources said the state government’s project to supply drinking water to villages through pipelines is progressing at a snail’s pace. Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) officials started laying the pipeline two years ago but the project is yet to be completed. Due to delay in completion of the project, a large number of villages are facing water shortage this summer.
When contacted, RWSS executive engineer Basant Nayak said work on the drinking water project was underway and it would be completed in 2025. “We are supplying water to villages through tankers this summer. RWSS employees have also been asked to repair damaged tube wells,” Nayak said.

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