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Odisha tribal village sets example by harnessing mountain stream

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Keonjhar, Apr 16:

While the whole state is reeling under heat wave and water crisis, the villagers of Saharpur  in Keonjhar district of Odisha  with their joint efforts have been enjoying uninterrupted 24 hours water supply through pipes in their homes free of cost for the last three years.

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The village in Banspal block houses 200 families, a majority of them belonging to the primitive Bhuyan tribe. Most of the villagers are daily labourers and some collect forest products.

They were suffering from water problems, their repeated requests to the administration falling on deaf  ears.

Fed up with the administration’s negligent they decided to take matters on their own hands.

In 2013, in a village meet the Saharpur villagers decided to contribute physical labour and collect money to bring water to the village.

Since, the village is on the bottom of a mountain, the villagers decided to harness the flowing stream coming from above which was getting wasted.

For the water project, the villagers worked for seven days to dig up a huge tank and cemented it. The stored water was then supplied to each villagers house through pipes.

Today, the project which started with a collection of Rs 100 by each family and technical help from an NGO is an success today and the villagers are able to even use the water for cultivating vegetables.

On being asked about the project Keonjhar district magistrate had no  information about the project.

“I am not aware of such a project in the Saharpur village. It is really a very good  initiative. After a careful study we will try to replicate it in other mountainous areas,” said N Tirumala Naik, District Magistrate and Collector Keonjhar.