Jagatsinghpur: Believe it or not, for the residents of Bhajakhia, Patua and Ghasua villages under Goda Panchayat in Erasama block in Jagatsinghpur district, water scarcity is worsening day by day with people not getting water for bathing during the scorching summer and their clothes remaining unwashed, where water is being sold at Rs 10 to Rs 15, per Jerrycan.

Thanks to the dilly- dallying attitude of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation ( RWSS) Department, most of the tube wells in alarge number of villages and hamlets in Erasama and Balikuda blocks have turned defunct and are yet to be repaired.

Apart from this the proposed supply of pipe water to the five panchayats from Naradia water supply project, who are the worst hit by the water scarcity, is yet to be functional. Moreover perennial water supply in tankers to the water shortage regions has become rare, that adds to the woes of the habitants, report said.

The villages who are suffering from acute water crisis include as Bhajakhia, Patuua, Suakunda, Ghasua, Patharkanda, Salio, Saharkanda, Kadalibari and Belari. The poor flow of water in the rivers, tributaries, and the drying ponds have added more to the woes of the residents in these areas. Moreover, people in certain areas have to travel upto 5 to 7 kms to fetch water for their drinking and domestic needs.

A group of people taking advantage of the situation have started doing business. They have been getting water from certain nearby areas in big drums, and other containers and are selling those to the residents at a high prices, informs Pratap Sahoo, former Sarpanch of Goda Gram Panchayat.

A senior citizen from Bhajakhia village Ananta Pradhan says, water crisis has been a regular summer feature in the area since years. However this time the situation seems to have worsened.

Lalita Mandal, a ward member of Ghasua village says, Women have to walk 4 kms to Patua village to get water from a private owned well all the season, which gives drinking water to nearly 200 families of Patua, Suaukuunda, Ghasua and Patharkanda, round the year.

Looking to perennial woes of the residents, every year from early March, the RWSS department usually starts supplying drinking water in tankers. This year too the practice waslaunched in time. The allegations that the water supply is sporadic is fake and politically motivated, the RWSS officials explain.

“It is due to presence of turbidity, alkalinity, and chloride contents in the ground water at a number of villages, it has not been possible to sunk required number of tube wells or repair the defunct one in these areas, informed Bijaya Das, Assistant Engineer, RWSS department.

Althoufh the RWSS department says that for mitigating local’s water crisis, the Naradia Water Supply Project is under progress, but it keeps mum when asked the reason behind delaying the project till date.

The residents inform that Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik had laid the foundation stone of the Rs.4.58 Lakh Nardia pipe water project in 11 June 2002. Ironically the project is yet to be completed even after the passage of 10 years.