Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 10:
Even though the Odisha Government recently announced Bhubaneswar to be its first choice for the smart city project launched bu the Union government, its poor water supply infrastructure might come in the way of the city getting selected.
The city fulfils more conditions than any other town of Odisha. However, the water supply average hangs between 21 – 33 percent causing an infrastructure barrier.
As per a survey done by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) in 2013, out of 2.15 lakh houses under BMC, only 46,000 houses (21 percent) are being supplied drinking water by Public Health Department (PHD).
As per another survey conducted by the PHD, the actual supply water reaches 33 percent households. However, the number appears less in BMC survey as thousands of families consume water from a single connection at places.
“Over 500 families consume water from the only connection we have given to Vani Vihar. Similarly, about 1600 families depends on two of the connections given to railways and about 4000 families use water from four connections at Housing board. Also, up to 1-50 families use water from a single connection at apartments. This brings down the number of connections even when about 76,000 (33 percent) of the families use supply water,” said Deputy Executive Engineer of PHD rent subdivision Upendra Samal.
PHD also cites lack of pipelines in most of the areas, lack of water and in some cases lack of consumers as the reason of the lackluster water distribution service.
“Places such as Hitech-Pandra, places beyond Infocity square, near ITER college, Jagamara, Sundarpada, Kalinga Nagar K-7, AIIMS nagar, area within Tankapani Road till Sai temple etc do not have any pipeline installation yet. We will start supplying water as soon as pipeline installation projects are over,” Samal added.
It may be noted that earlier, occupancy certificate was a must for water supply connection which resulted in poor response from customers. Only 300 customers were given connection between 2013-14. However, after the rules were amended, 2500 customers have been given connection between February to June 2015.