Kendrapara/Pattamundai: Hundreds of local denizens Monday voiced their prolonged demand for Gobari river water treatment plant (WTP) and drainage system here in the town.
The two proposals were previously sent by state Urban Development department for approval that suffered red tape. Restoration of existing drainage system badly needs attention of the civic authorities.
If the files will not be cleared before the rainy season and the project be completed on time, several places in the town might get submerged in water and keep the residents waterlogged, locals said.
A master plan was jointly prepared in this regard by Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board (OWSSB) and TTI Consulting Engineers (India) Pvt Limited in 2017. It was then proposed to set up a WTP at Indupur village under Kendrapara tehsil limits. A detailed project report (DPR) was jointly prepared by Urban Development and Drainage departments with an estimated cost of about Rs 19 crore 47 lakh, which has made no progress so far, the local residents alleged.
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Earlier, the erstwhile civic body had attempted for the first drainage system and water treatment plant. As per the proposal, it was decided that rainwater would not be released into either Gobari river or existing canals and rather be carried to outside the town through a special drain and treated in WTP, former councillor Hiranya Panda said.
In turn, the purified water was decided to be released into Gobari river and the irrigation canals passing through the town, thereby keeping the river and canals free from getting polluted, Panda expressed.
“Service drains in the town usually overflow with even low rainfall. As a result, garbage and municipal wastes get dumped on roads. This is a perennial problem that we have been facing for past several years. Necessary steps should be taken by the civic body well ahead of the rainy season,” resident of Fakirabad locality Mir Abu Obeda said.
Echoing the same view, a social activist from ward No-21 named Umesh Chandra Padhi said, “Many parts of ward No-21 including No-12 and No-13 get waterlogged during rainy season. Gobari river and municipal drains are now under encoachment. It is high time that the civic body should curb encroachment and stop giving permission for construction of houses on Gobari river and irrigation canals.”
On being contacted, Kendrapara Municipality chairperson Sarita Sahu said, “We had recently held a meeting and reviewed the prevalent drainage problems. The process to develop existing drainage system and provided the residents a healthy atmosphere has already begun. Efforts are on to construct a WTP to purify Gobari river water.”
With mercury on the rise and farmlands gradually becoming dry, many farmers under Pattamundai municipal limits demanded for release of water from the main irrigation canal here to save their crops.
A good number of local farmers from Kasanaanta, Talaba-Lamipada, Balipada, Nandini Nagar, Siddha Patana, Tanupur, Bachhara, Mandapada, Kakudipalli, Nuagaon, Balipatana, Sandhapalli, Nimapur, Alabha, Srirampur, Palapatana, Kadamba Dandi, Damarpur, Balabhadrapur, Athara Batia, Chhedara, Gunupur, Haladharpur, Similia, Dihapada, Ainipada, Badapada, Badamohanpur, Dihudipur, Ambera and Khadianta have cultivated vegetables this season.
Pattamundai main canal and its branch canals have become dry since last rainy season. Hence, release of water into the main canal is barely essential to save the crops, the vegetable farmers rued.