Report by Amarnath Parida; Jagatsinghpur: Despite the State Government’s promise in the Water Policy booklet prepared by the Water Resources Department to provide safe drinking water for human beings and livestock, various urban and rural areas of the State are reeling under lack of drinking water due to decrease in ground water level. Illegal use of ground water by the industries results in the water level decrease. Death of three persons due to sunstroke within one week has also worsened the situation in Jagatsinghpur district.
Signing of MoUs with several large and small scale industries to maintain the water-level has gone futile. Industries had promised to use river water only, but these are using ground water through bore wells in their vastly occupied premises resulting in recede of water level drastically. Paradip and its periphery areas is a case in this point.
Paradip port city which is the important town of the state is now reeling water crisis. The port city has been surrounded with an industrial belt where as many as seven large-scale industries and several auxiliary industries working. Almost all these industries use ground water through bore-well system.
As the water-level of different panchyats of Paradip port areas has receded to deep. Locals have alleged that there is provision to use river and Talanda canal water for drinking purposes after its purification but many industries have allegedly used bore-well water causing sever water scarcity on ground level. . The Government warned the company to substitute river water quickly but no companies follow the directives of the government. . Similarly, due to the use of ground water by different large and small scale industries, the water level in nearby areas has receded. According to the locals, these companies are openly using the ground water.
A study reveals that ground water level has receded at least 2 meters within a fortnight in various parts of Paradip, Kujang, Erasama and Balikuda areas. Water-level of wells and ponds is receding and it is expected that within a fortnight these will dry and create severe water crisis. Hundreds of people of Erasama areas have been affected by diarrhea by taking contaminated water. On the other hand, one Amulaya Das of Gorda village under Tirtol police limit has killed in sunstroke while he was working in paddy field. Another girl Pragyan Das , 20 years of Erasama area has also killed in sunstroke while she was returning from tuition on Tuesday. Another one of Biridi area has also killed in sunstroke recently. Callous attitude of district administration and negligence of concerned officials have worsened the situation.
Supply of public drinking water by the PHD and RWSS Departments is very irregular in Paradip & Jagatsinghpur municipality and other rural areas.. In several places, water pipes are leaked and no repairing is done since long. The leaking pipes are contaminated. Unauthorised connection is an overload by which water is supplied in low pressure in hilly areas. Though tariff and Cess for water supply has become high, the duration of supply is shortened.
Meanwhile, RWSS has sent water tanker to worst hit villages of Erasama and Balikuda to meet the scarcity of drinking water in 15 coastal villages of Erasama and Balikuda blocks- official’s sources said.