Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, May 25:
With the ongoing heat wave resulting in acute shortage of drinking water across the state, the Odisha government has asked all the district Collectors and Block Development Officers (BDO) to ensure supply of drinking water to people in the water-stressed areas through tankers and also undertake repair of all malfunctioning tube wells on war footing.
It may be noted here that only 22 per cent of the total habitations in the state are covered under pipe water supply scheme while 445 out of 6,234 gram panchayat (GP) headquarters are still out of the coverage area.
The Panchayati Raj secretary Deoranjan Kumar Singh has directed the BDOs to review the issue of scarcity of drinking water and sanitation in their respective jurisdictions on a weekly basis.
As per the latest Census, the State has 1,57,296 habitations but only 9,458 villages are covered under the rural pipe water supply scheme of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). The remaining habitations meet their drinking water requirements from spot sources, including tube-wells and sanitary wells.
Though, the State Government had planned to cover all the GP headquarters under pipe water supply projects during the 11th Plan period, as many as 845 GP headquarters were left out.
In 2013-14, the state government had made a budgetary provision of Rs 442.49 crore of which Rs 192.49 crore was funded by the Centre.The total fund utilisation till January-end was Rs 326.67 crore, resulting in the commissioning of 315 rural pipe water supply projects in the state.