Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 26:
Every house in Bankapur and Chandramadeipur villages under Ranapur Block in Odisha’s Nayagarh district has a latrine but the villagers are forced to relieve themselves in the fields as there is no piped water connection to the toilets.
Almost eleven years ago, 117 toilets were constructed in these two villages, having 800 residents, under the Swajaldhara Scheme. Besides, a 43,000 litre water tank was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 16 lakh. In addition to this, two motors of two kilowatt each were installed to pump water to these households.
Unfortunately, from the first day itself the water supplied was muddy and polluted. Appeals to the project engineer for cleaning the boring water fell on deaf ears. After some time, the two water pumps also blew off. Repeated appeals to the local MLA, district magistrate, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation department also were not addressed. Following this, the villagers are forced to go to the open field to attend nature’s call. They are facing problems for drinking water as the villages only have one tube well and the ground level water has fallen down sharply.
Eleven years have passed since the incident and the project has fallen into disuse allegedly due to government neglect.
Rural development manager in Bhubaneswar, Gangadhar Panigrahi, “I am aware about the problem. We are taking immediate steps to make the project functional as soon as possible. We are trying to mitigate the water crisis by the summer season.”