| Water from drains flow into Mahanadi. Telegraph picture |
Sambalpur, May 11: Local residents here are worried over the possible contamination of drinking water being supplied to them from the Mahanadi.
“Waste water released from sewerage drains into the Mahanadi at different points in the city is polluting the river, making it unfit for human consumption,” said Govind Agrawal, a resident of Sambalpur.The waste water of Dhobi Jor nala, a drain of the city, flows into the Mahanadi through the sluice gate in Balibandha of Sambalpur, which pollutes the water.
Ironically, the public health and engineering department collects water for drinking purposes from a point of Mahanadi, which is only about 100 meters away from the point of discharge of the drain water into the river.
“The drain water along the Ring Road is also not being managed properly,” added Agrawal, a lawyer by profession. There was a proposal to construct drains along the Ring Road from Dhankauda to the collector’s office and then to Durgapali connecting to the national highway. There was also a proposal to set up a sewerage water treatment plant in Phaskuda of Sambalpur to treat the drain water of the city but the project has not materialised yet, he said.
Agrawal alleged that residents of Sambalpur were suffering due to lack of coordination between the civic authorities and the district administration. “It has become imperative for the concerned authorities to take initiative to prevent the water of Dhobi Jor Nala from being released into the Mahanadi,” he said.
Superintending engineer of the irrigation department Nilakantha Das admitted that the waste water of the city flowing through Dhobi Jor nala was flowing into the Mahanadi and polluting the river.
“The renovation of the drain is not possible. Nevertheless, we have a proposal to reconstruct the guard wall so that the drain water does not flow into the river,” said Das.
“However, it is impossible to check the water from flowing into the river during the monsoon,” he added.
The superintending engineer said a proposal had been sent to the lower Mahanadi basin for the construction of the guard wall. “The proposal has been approved and we are trying to complete the work before the Sital Sasthi festival,” he said.
Sambalpur municipality executive officer Subas Chandra Sethia, said: “The irrigation department should take initiatives to prevent the waste water from flowing into the river. Earlier, we had explained the matter to the then collector. We will again take up this matter with the new collector.”