Dhenkanal: Lack of adequate drinking water facilities mar tourist experience at famed Kapilas shrine in Dhenkanal district even as a Rs 50 lakh drinking water project here hangs fire under red tape.
Tourists and devotees throng the temple of Lord Chandrasekhar, the presiding deity of Kapilas, in large numbers all year round. It is especially so during the Odia calendar months of Magha, Kartika, Shrabana and the tourist season when lakh of devotees and visitors can be seen here.
That said, the present drinking water facilities at the shrine here has proven to be inadequate and has led to numerous grievances and complaints by the visitors.
In a bid to solve the drinking water issues at the shrine permanently, a plan was chalked out by the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department while collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan was in charge of the district.
Even though initial work on the project to bring water from the foot of the hill had started, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) halted it questioning the excavation work being undertaken on the premises of the shrine – of which it is the custodian.
Eventually, the much-needed project was stopped, citing rules and guidelines.
In the holy month of ‘Shrabana’, lakh of ‘kaudias’ throng the shrine every Monday to offer water to the lord. More often than not, they face severe water woes here.
When contacted, executive engineer of district Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department said, “The Kapilas shrine remains with the ASI department. The department has put a hold on the project. The work can only be started after getting a direction in favour of the project.”
Notably, this issue was also raised before the incumbent district collector Bhumesh Chandra Behera this Tuesday during a meeting to review preparedness for the kaudias this shrabana. He has assured to make necessary arrangements for the Monday congregations. Besides, he has also assured to take steps to complete the project currently stalled mid-way.