Berhampur, Oct. 12: The Janibili project, designed to meet the water requirements of the city, will be implemented by 2018.
"The construction of the Rs 452 crore project to bring water through underground pipes to Berhampur from the Janibili reservoir in Soroda, some 47km from here, will start from this month," said public health and engineering department's executive engineer Sitaram Panda.
The move aims to resolve the drinking water problem in the city. "The work will be over by 2018," he said.
"A private party will execute the project following the state cabinet's approval," Panda said.
"Chief minister Naveen Patnaik laid the foundation of the Janibili project on October 3, 2013. After implementation of the much-awaited project, Berhampur will not suffer from the drinking water problem till 2030."
"We have already identified around five acres at Jagadalapur to set up the 100 millions litre per day (MLD) treatment plant. The project will provide around 125MLD water to the city and 54 villages in 14 panchayats. The project will also mitigate the drinking water problem of nearby towns such as Aska and Hinjili in Ganjam district."
The project also includes 24 reservoirs in four zones, construction of four overhead tanks and installation of water meter for around 30,000 consumers in Berhampur at an estimated cost of Rs 126 crore.
"The city requires at least 63MLD of water, but official records put the figure at 56MLD. At present, Dakhinapur supplies around 26MLD, Rushikulya 14MLD and another 6MLD is managed from bore wells and other sources," said Panda.
Gupteswar Sarangi, the convener of Sansodhan, an organisation spearheading the agitation to streamline water supply in Berhampur, alleged that the scarcity of water was man-made.
"The drinking water problem becomes a major issue during the summers. But with the advent of rains, everything is blissfully forgotten and preserved to be raked up again in the next summer," Sarangi said.
"The government must initiate immediate steps to provide 24-hour water supply. In this context, the Janibili project brings much hope," said Sarangi.