Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 21:
Around 55, 186 villagers in Odisha do not have access to drinking water. In urban areas 145 wards in the state lack access to drinking water facilities, according to the State Fourth Finance commission report.
The matter is worsened by the poor water quality with 20 per cent water in the state is chloride polluted, 70 per cent area has high iron content and 2 per cent is water is fluoride polluted.
Moreover, various places in the state are suffering from water crises namely, Bhograi, Khundari Pokri, Satyabadi, Saitala, Titilagarh, Jhumpura, Kendujhar Ersama, Balikuda, Nuagaon and Khariar. These places have been recommended supply of drinking water from various water bodies at a cost of Rs 591 crore, by the commission.
But, the government has ignored finances to for water resources in the recent budget with 6.75 per cent allotted for rural development and 3.49 per cent for urban development.
From western Odisha to coastal areas drinking water crisis looms ahead in parts of western Odisha Bargarh, Sonepur, Bolangir till Angul. The Odisha capital Bhubaneswar is also set to face water crisis, according to the commission report.
Notably, last year, a government notification had declared that the 9,618 drinking water facilities in villages are no longer under the village panchayat.
They will be maintained by Group zilla parimal committee, village welfare committee or women self help group and a monthly user fee will be collected from them.