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Heat rises, water eludes
Tankers set for dry areas

Bhubaneswar, April 16: Public Health Engineering Organisation, the city’s drinking water supplier, has started supplying water tankers to Gautam Nagar, Badagada and Jagannath Vihar as summer-time water scarcity has again started to knock the doors.

At present, the Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) supplies six tankers of water twice a day to the city’s water scarcity-hit pockets.

In summer days, many areas in the city, including Sundarpada, Kapilaprasad, Pokhariput, Jadupur, Dumduma, Ainginia, Patia, Gadakana, Rangamatia, Chakeisiani, Pahala and Badagada Brit Colony, face water crisis as the pipe water supply in these areas is yet to become adequate.

Former councillor of Gadakana Madan Majhi is an unhappy man today as his dream project to supply pipe water to his area is yet to start.

“The Gadakana pipeline project was completed in 2012. But last year, additional distribution pipeline for Rangamatia was added to the project, for which work is yet to be completed. We are yet to reap the benefits of the main project,’’ he said.

Pahala on the city outskirts near the Cuttak-Bhubaneswar highway is buzzing with real estate activities and offices of automobile majors, but the local residents are yet to get pipe water.

Former councillor of the area Sukumar Sahoo said: “The PHEO has initiated a water supply project from the available production wells. But, it is grossly inadequate.”

The people of Sundarpada have started experiencing acute problem of drinking water for the last one week as the water level in the local wells has gone down significantly in the summer.

“The pipe water supply project from Khandagiri-Bhimatangi pipeline will take some more time to become operational. We are thinking of taking the help of the PHEO water tankers within a day or two,’’ said Krushna Sethi, a local BJD leader.

Several water bodies near Old Town, Sundarpada and Kapilaprasad are lying in neglect without renovation. Unplanned growth of multi-storey buildings in and around Sundarpada is also causing fast depletion of the ground water table.

“The Daya West Canal, the traditional source of water to Sundarpada, is lying partially defunct. That’s why the local laterite soil belt is also not getting charged with fresh water,’’ Sethi said.

Assistant engineer of PHEO Ishwar Chandra Pradhan, who oversees supply of tanker water to scarcity-hit pockets in the city, said: “We generally receive requisition from the local PHEO officials concerned for the supply through tankers. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation also requests us to supply tankers for the uncovered areas.”

The PHEO has three trucks mounted with 8,000-litre tanker and two with 5,000 litres for supply of drinking water to scarcity-hit pockets. While it has five tractors with 5,000-litre tankers mounted on each of them, there are 23 spare containers that can be pulled by tractors or any vehicle.

PHEO superintending engineer Chittaranjan Jena said: “We are extending tanker service free of charge to the scarcity-hit areas. At present, the temporary water distribution kiosks or jal chatras opened by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation are getting six-tanker load of water from us in the morning.”

“We are going to have a water treatment plant on Kuakhai river’s eastern bank to supply water to Pahala and adjacent areas which are developing fast. However, the project will take some time to be implemented,’’ he added.