Water, water…nowhere: another water project to quench Balangir thirst
Balangir, May 2:Water scarcity in this town will soon be a thing of the past with the state government inviting tenders for a second pipe water project.
After members of the Balangir Action Committee, an organisation of civil society in the town, launched a scathing attack on the state government over the erratic pipe water supply and said they would launch an agitation, former minister and local MLA Ananag Udaya Singhdeo came up with the news that tenders had been invited for the new water project for Balangir.
Singhdeo said: “The government was aware about the acute water problem here. We have initiated plan for a second project to address the perennial water problem of the town. We have already invited tenders of Rs 55 crore for the project.”
Executive engineer of the Balangir public health division Bhakta Kavi Das said: “The project estimated to cost about Rs 55 crore will permanently solve the water woes of Balangir. Since water will be drawn from the Tel river near Tarabha, which is a perennial source of water unlike the Mahanadi, there will be no scarcity of water even in summer.”
Das said the project got the technical sanction of the government a couple of months ago.
“Ductile iron pipes will be used instead of concrete ones. This will minimise leakage. Even if there are leakages, they could be easily repaired unlike in the case of concrete pipes. In the second stage, some five overhead tanks will be constructed for better distribution of water in the town,” he said.
Balangir with a population of more than one lakh often reels from acute water scarcity because the existing pipe water project that supplies water to the town from the Mahanadi river in Sonepur, about 50km away from here, hardly serves the purpose. In summer, the problem becomes even more acute.
Sukanta Pani, a local resident, said: “The existing pipe water supply from the Mahanadi in Sonepur is not viable for Balangir. The water supply to the town often breaks down because of problems such as technical snags and natural calamities such as floods. Last year, the town residents had gone without pipe water for 21 days because of the flood in the Mahanadi river that had submerged the intake well and other machineries such as motor pumps and transformers. This year, with the onset of summer the water problem has already compounded. Water supply has been very erratic. Today, after six days, we got pipe water.”
Pani said that a second water project was needed in Balangir. “It is good to know that government has already invited tenders for the new project,” he said.