Berhampur (Odisha): In order to deal with acute water shortage, Ganjam district administration has decided to press more tankers into service to supply drinking water in Berhampur.

At present, 39 tankers hae been engaged to supply water in areas facing water scarcity. “More tankers will supply water in the town soon,” said executive engineeer, public health engineering department (PHED), Berhampur, P K Mohapatra.

The department has identified 250 localities in the town as water-scarce areas. The pockets are mainly newly developed localities on the outskirts of the town, having no water pipeline, PHED sources said.

“As there is no alternative source of water in the areas, we will dispatch tankers as soon as we receive complaints,” said a PHED engineer.

Water is also being supplied to several educational institutions through tankers, he added.

Water crisis in the town aggravated after supply from Madhapur project, one of the major sources of water, got reduced by four million litre a day (MLD). The water supply is hit as the Rushikulya is drying up, official sources said.

Currently around 46 MLD is being supplied to the town from all sources. Dakhinapur reservoir (30 MLD), Madhapur water supply project (12 MLD) and borewells (four MLD), against the requirement of 54 MLD for four lakh people of the town. The requirement goes up in peak summer, sources added.

While agitations demanding water supply are common, opposition political parties accused the state government of failing to address the long standing problem. Seven months after chief minister Naveen Patnaik laid foundation of Rs 415-crore Janibili project, there has been no headway.

“The stone was laid keeping an eye on elections,” said former Union minister and senior Congress leader Chandra Sekhar Sahu. Senior BJP leader and former deputy speaker Rama Chandra Panda demanded immediate implementation of the project.

Official sources said the project, once completed would provide 200 MLD and solve water problems in Aska, Hinjili and 49 other villages in the district, besides the Silk City.

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