Kaptipada: Alarm bells have started ringing over the fall in groundwater levels in Kaptipada block of Mayurbhanj district.
The impact of this can be found in the Sona and Kushabhadra rivers. The rivers which used to be perennial have dried up.
Villagers said that around a hundred riparian villages will face severe water crisis in coming days if water conservation measures are not taken up. Agriculture and local flora and fauna will be heavily affected, they added.
Kaptipada block has 147 villages in 26 panchayats, and most villages are situated in hilly areas. For years, these villages have been facing water shortage during the summer.
Severe water shortage has been reported from Sharat, Nota, Labanyadeipur, Sardiha, Debanabahali, Chakradharpur, Mankadapada, Ramchandrapur, Kamalgadia and Padmapokhari panchayats.
“Water is not available in tube wells and wells. Some tube wells yield water, but it is not fit for human consumption,” said former sarpanch Mohan Das.
Sona and Kushabhadra have also dried up. Besides, the water table in Kal and Sunei reservoirs has fallen drastically, locals said. Many ponds were dug in the area under the MGNREGS, but they too dried up in March.
“If proper measures are not taken for water conservation, people will find it difficult in the coming days,” said Brundaban Padhuria, a former sarpanch of Kalamgadia.
An assistant engineer of the rural water supply and sanitation department said there were nearly 1,800 tube wells in the area. Some panchayats are provided water using tankers, he added.