Defunct projects trip drinking water supply

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By Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR: Despite Government spending crores of rupees on pipe water projects, thousands of people of Deobhog, Galupada, Chatra and Jayabada villages as well as a few areas under Jagatsinghpur Municipality are yet to get the benefits of the same.

The Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO) had constructed a water tank at Jagatsinghpur tehsil at a cost of `30 lakh in 2008-09 for supplying safe drinking water to people of Jagatsinghpur Municipality. However, the project is yet to be made functional even though 10 years have passed since its inception.
Initially, water was supplied to some residents of the municipality for only three hours daily. However, the pipe developed cracks causing leakage of water, thereby leading to disruption of water supply in the area. Locals alleged that none has benefited from the project. The PHEO officials, in connivance with some ruling party leaders, have allegedly misappropriated lakhs of rupees for maintenance of the project by submitting false bills, they alleged.

PHEO Assistant Engineer Nagendra Kumar admitted that around 2,000 residents of Jagatsinghpur Municipality have been deprived of  drinking water after the project became defunct. Repair of damaged pipes is on and steps are being taken to resolve the crisis as soon as possible, he said.

Similar situation prevailed in rural areas of the district. Thousands of families residing in Balikuda, Naugaon, Erasama and Tirtol blocks have been left high and dry due to defunct pipe water projects. Though the department concerned has completed 156 pipe water supply projects, a majority of these have become defunct, sources said.

Sarpanch of Dabour panchayat Dambarudhar Swain said the pump, which was installed in 2011-12  at Mahanapari village, has remained  defunct for the last seven years. Similar is the situation in Tiruna panchayat where pipe water project has remained inoperative since its inception in 2009. Villagers of 22 Wards in this panchayat are reeling under acute drinking water crisis.


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