| (Top) The water supply unit at Mulapadia in Old Town area and (above) a view of Palaspalli area in Bhubaneswar. Pictures by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, May 11: Palaspalli, which is counted among the posh localities of the capital, continues to reel from severe drinking water crisis.
With insufficient water supply becoming part of their daily lives, families of 198 high income group (HIG) duplex houses here have dug up tube wells on their compounds for water.
S.K. Sahu, president of the Palaspalli Residents’ Welfare Association, said: “There is a serious power shortage in the locality which seems to be affecting the functioning of pumps at the local pumping station near the Palaspalli-Bhimatangi flyover.”
“Necessary maintenance works need to be carried out by the Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) officials on a priority basis here,’’ he said.
But local residents believe that water scarcity is not just a result of power shortage here. The water supply pipes laid in the area were also of poor quality.
Later, the PHEO took over the supply system, but it was already faulty.
“The entire area has been put under valve-based control system. But water supply has been slow and distribution uneven because of faults in the system,” said Sahu.
“The PHEO people can address these technical problems. But to manage the entire water supply system with proper assessment of local problems one needs a good amount of investment and perhaps they would not be able to bear that,’’ added Sahu.
Purushottam Das Bagri, a resident of the area, said: “Water is being supplied twice daily. But with frequent power cuts, water supply here is irregular. Several residents have also gone for their own arrangements of drawing groundwater. But it should be restricted as unauthorised withdrawal of groundwater ultimately affects the water table.’’
Local PHEO assistant engineer Gurucharan Das said: “Problems in supply of pipe-water in Palaspalli is not true. There were some problems in water supply last year. But this year, the area is getting 3 lakh litres of water everyday. While 70 per cent of the supply water comes from Daya reservoir through the Mulapadia station of PHEO, the rest 30 per cent has been drawn from two local pump houses. We are supplying sufficient water to each duplex with 10 persons to live.’’
Many local residents, however, alleged that water supply — both in term of quantity and time — was erratic. People without sumps were suffering the most.
“Even with restricted supply, there are people who extract more water using online pumps. They store them in their sumps. While some are getting more water, others have to be contend with less during water supply hours,’’ said a businessman of the area, who did not want to be named.
Not only Palaspalli, but many areas developed by BDA have also got problems related to water distribution.
Some areas, such as Pokhariput, are yet to get its pipe-water supply, while distant areas, such as Kalinga Vihar, have a water supply system.