BHAWANIPATNA: The widening gap between water demand and supply in Bhawanipatna town has aggravated people’s problems. While the demand is 10.35 million litres per day (MLD), only 4.2 MLD is currently being supplied. Locals attribute poor water network and lack of repair or maintenance of old pipelines as the reasons behind the ‘man-made’ crisis.
There has been no addition to the pipelines that were laid by the erstwhile king Brajamohan Deo. In fact, prior to the Independence, Kalahandi never faced water crisis. There was a network of water bodies that irrigated land and catered to the water needs of a small population then.
Brajamohan Deo had even introduced piped water supply in the town in 1930 and locals never felt the pangs of water scarcity till Bhawanipatna was declared a Municipality in 1951. The population then was barely 12,000. Even as the population has now grown by seven times, not much headway has been made into laying of new pipelines. None of the 20 Wards are completely connected with water pipelines.
Water is drawn from river Sagada, 12 kms away, and after treatment at Kandhabandopapla, 10 lakh litres are pumped into an overhead tank near Kali temple in the town thrice in a day for distribution. This apart, there are 12 production wells from which, 0.1 MLD water is drawn and supplied, but this does not suffice. To add to the problems, erratic power supply has been affecting water distribution leaving half of the town parched.
The only respite for people living in water-stressed areas is water supply through tankers by the civic administration. Although there are 505 tubewells, 20 are lying defunct. The functional ones do not ooze out much water due to the falling ground water level. Assistant Engineer, PHED, SK Parida said they are doing their best to cater to water needs of people. The situation will ease-off only after the proposed drinking water project from river Tel materialises.
Executive Officer of Bhawanipatna Municipality, Loknath Tiwari said 1000 litre water tanks have been installed at strategic locations.