NEWS IN THEENGLISHDAILY THE PIONEER/17THMARCH 2015
WATER SHORTAGE LIKELY TO WORSEN IN BALANGIR TOWN
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
Even as the month of March is known for its moderate temperature and cool climate across the State, Balangir has started experiencing a scorching summer. Shortage of drinking water and power cut are again adding to the trouble. Drinking water to Balangir town is supplied from the Mahanadi river at Nandanmal village in Sonepur district. From Nandanmal raw water is pumped to a water treatment plant at Sibtala and from Sibtala it is supplied to Keiserkela and Madhiapali and then water comes to Balangir town.
Against a requirement of 12MLD water, the town is getting a supply of 8-9 MLD. As a result, there is deficit. A heavy motor pump at water lifting point at Nandanmal is not functioning to its full capacity due to low voltage electricity. According to sources, Balangir gets power supply of 40MW against the requirement of 56MW. Hence, there is shortfall of 16 MW forcing electrical authorities to go for a two- hour power cut in the town and around four hours in the rural areas. “The power situation would improve once the old transformer at Sadeipali grid is replaced with a new one and we expect this to be over by first week of March,” said an official here.
Due to low voltage, many areas of Rabi paddy cultivation in Gudvella block suffered damages as lift irrigation points did not function properly.
Balangir town has a population of 1, 07,683. Out of the 21wards, 12 wards are fully covered, eight wards are partially covered and there is no facility of pipe water supply system in one ward. At least 25 per cent water is wasted in the 56km-long supply line from Nandamal to Balangir due to leakages. Moreover, illegal connection and use of motor pumps in pilferage of water aggravate the water scarcity in the town further. To add insult to injury, the water supply system which was designed many years ago has not been upgraded.
To ease the water scarcity of the town, Leader of Opposition in Assembly and Balangir MLA NarsinghaMishra on January 15 last had suggested for arrangement of ten more number of tankers and installation of 30 water tanks in different padas of the town but that is yet to be worked out due to fund problem, said sources.
Asked about the progress of water supply from the Tel river near Panimura in Tarbha Block of Sonepur district to Balangir town, a PHD official sounded a note of optimism, saying, “We are hopeful to complete it by March, 2016 and so far 39 per cent of the project has been completed.”
Asked about the steps taken by the PHD to check contamination of water, the official said, “Our responsibility lies with main line water supply. We are not responsible for service connection point.”