Keonjhar: Amid water crisis in various parts of Keonjhar, water level in Sanamachhakandana irrigation project has drastically fallen.
Drinking water is being supplied from this project to Keonjhar town for a long time. Fall in the water level has hampered the water supply in several wards of the town.
Though residents have drawn the attention of the public health engineering organisation (PHEO) authorities towards the short supply of water, no step is being taken to streamline the water supply.
Water supply through tankers does not suffice to fulfill the needs of the residents, it was alleged.
Water is channelised from the irrigation project to Juduaghati where it is treated before being supplied to the residents in 10 wards, including Keonjhar, Purunsahar, Atapur and Madhapur. Over 30,000 people depend on the water supply from this project.
Locals have underscored the need for renovation of the project.
It was said that huge funds have already been spent on its renovation but it has failed in its water retaining capacity. Locals suspect that the funds might have been misutilised.
The project is also used for irrigation, electricity generation and fishery.
This project holds much importance for tourism spots like Badaghagara and Sanaghagara. Water flowing out of the project feeds the two waterfalls.
Many Keonjhar residents said that tube wells and wells have dried while they have to wait for hours at stand points to get water that trickles down very slowly.
On the other hand, tanker water does not reach all households.
Ghasiram Majhi, a junior engineer of the PHEO, said that the water crisis in the town is an outcome of declining water level in the irrigation project. Water problem will be solved if water level rises in the dam, he added.
However, AK Mohapatra, assistant engineer of the minor irrigation (MI) division, Keonjhar, said that water level in the dam is about eight feet. “Lack of pressure is the problem. The water needs to be pumped out. But the PHEO officials have not intimated me about it,” he explained.