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Kaliabali tank on brink of collapse

Berhampur, April 22: The 44 lakh-gallon-litre concrete reservoir of Rushikulya joint water supply project at Kaliabali in Ganjam district may collapse and requires immediate repairs, say experts.

“This reservoir requires urgent maintenance and renovation. Once it is renovated, it would be good for another 20 years,” said Prasant Kumar Mahapatra, executive engineer of urban water supply, Berhampur. The three-compartment reservoir was commissioned 30 years ago.

“We are giving final touches to the renovation and maintenance plan of the reservoir and will submit it to the state government for final approval within a week. We will replace the air valve, scour valve, non-retire valve and valve chamber. We will also install energy-efficient pump sets,” he said. The reservoir supplies water to Berhampur town, MES Golabandha, Berhampur University, Gopalpur and Chatrapur NAC and Indian Rare Earths (IRE), sources said.

Mahapatra said the three collector wells at Badamahapur and near Potlampur that feed the reservoir were not being charged properly because the river bed of Rushikulya had dried up.

“I have requested the executive engineer of irrigation, Bhanjanagar, to release water into Rushikulya at least once a fortnight to recharge the groundwater,” said Mahapatra. The absence of uninterrupted power supply to the three collectors wells was also posing problems, he said.

Mahapatra said there was adequate water for the people of Berhampur. But the problem was lack of a proper distribution system.

He hoped the water crisis in Berhampur would be solved in two years when a Rs 59.09-crore pipe water infrastructure development project was expected to be completed.

“The process has been started and it will involve enhancing capacity of storage reservoirs, enhancement of water supply network through replacement and repair of existing water pipes in the city. The detailed project report for this renovation and replacement of old pipeline is being prepared,” the executive engineer said.

Water supply in the city began for the first time in 1905. Water supply to Berhampur town was taken over by the PHED from Berhampur Municipality on August 1, 1986.