BARIPADA: Villagers in Wards 5 and 6 of Gobindrachandrapur and neighboring villages under Shamakhunta block in Mayurbhanj district have been without water supply facilities for three years after the pipeline water supply project ‘Hydram has developed a technical problem which is believed to be due to poor maintenance.
The Baripada Minor Irrigation Division set up the project worth Rs 19.44 lakh funded by the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) in 2014-15 with the aim of providing water to 63 acres of land during Kharif season. It would also help preserve the water flowing from the Sitakunda waterfall above Palpala Nalla. To meet the drinking water needs of the populations of these localities, which are mostly tribal, the department has also set up two water filtration and purification tanks.
However, an operational problem developed shortly after Cyclone Yaas when pipes were disrupted and the project failed to conserve water, villagers said. Although maintenance of the project was the responsibility of the division, since its inception none of the officials have ever visited the site, alleged Gouramohan Singh, Soma Singh, Ruhidas Singh and all the villagers. “We informed the department officers several times and asked to repair the project but no attention was given,” complained the villagers.
The district’s small irrigation division received the Chief Minister’s Award in 2014 for the innovative Hydram project. The other three ongoing Hydram projects in the district from 2014 to 2015 are in the villages of Mudra Jodi, Digdia and Dhobanisul.
When contacted, the division’s executive engineer, Mahesh Prasad Patnaik, said the project was funded by IAP and the department wanted him to fund the restoration as well. “Even the Mudra Jodi project is in a terrible state. But the IAP did not sanction the funds. As soon as the funds are available, steps will be taken to restart the projects,” he said. Hydram, a low-cost, multi-purpose hydraulic ram pump, facilitates water supply to locations at higher elevations.