Jajpur: Even as the groundwater level is fast depleting across Jajpur district, an ambitious project of the state government to recharge ground water has got a cold shoulder, a report said.
Expressing concern over the drastic fall in groundwater, the engineer in chief of RWSS in a letter (No: 6083/10 and 3474/1) instructed departmental executive engineer in 2016 to make an action plan to recharge of the same, making it free of pollution.
Though three years have passed, no action on the proposal has been chalked out. Another report, however, said water sources in Jajpur district are fast becoming unfit for human consumption with groundwater becoming toxic.
An excess deposit of iron, total coliform and faecal coliform has been traced in the groundwater. The claim is not unfounded as hundreds of people have died of kidney ailments in industrial and mining regions of the district in the last 10 years while thousand others battle with the ailments due to consumption of the toxic water over a long period of time.
Not only Jajpur, but every district in Odisha is facing the same problem. The surface water level is also falling across the state with depleting groundwater level. Some of the water bodies have totally ceased to exist.
The issue of groundwater level falling was raised in the State Assembly in 2016. Members urged the government to maintain coordination among departments like water resources, rural development, agricultural, forest and environment departments and chalk out a plan to recharge groundwater. But till now the government has not taken any constructive step to solve the problem.
Deforestation, excess pumping and use of groundwater by the industries are main causes of the drastic fall in level. Industries in both Keonjhar and Jajpur district are guilty of damaging the water from the Brahmani and Baitarani rivers. The industries indiscriminately release their effluents to these rivers. As a result, beds of rivers and streams get polluted.
Farmers as well as general people of the state are affected due depletion of ground water. Various outfits and intellectuals have urged the government to take a serious note of the issue and start immediate measures to arrest the falling ground water level as well as increasing pollution.