Ganjam district administration takes stock of the worrying drinking water situation

The Ganjam district administration urged inhabitants of Berhampur to check water wastage, and not to store more quantity than needed during summer in this perennially water scarce city.

The request was made during a meeting chaired by Ganjam Collector Prem Chand Chaudhary to discuss drinking water crisis in the city. The meeting was attended by Berhampur Sub-Collector, local tehsildar, officials of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC), and executive engineer of the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED).

The PHED officials informed that with the Rushikulya river bed drying up, the collector wells attached to it at Kaliabali were not providing sufficient water. The water supply to the city had gone down to 46 million litres per day (MLD), while the requirement was 53 MLD. What is worrying is that the level may go down further.

During the discussion at this meeting it was pointed out that the rise in number of families using piped water in the city, use of motor pumps by consumers to draw water were major stumbling blocks to proper distribution of drinking water in the city.

The officials were of the opinion that the water crisis in the city can only be solved through the proposed Janhibili drinking water project, which is expected to cost around Rs. 427 crore. Its foundation stone was laid by the Chief Minister in 2013. Besides Berhampur, this project would provide drinking water to other urban centres of the district like Aska and Hinjli as well as 30 villages.

But for the present, proper management of existing drinking water supply was the only solution.

In past few weeks, residents of different areas of Berhampur held demonstrations protesting against lack of drinking water supply to their areas. The PHED started using tankers to supply drinking water to several water-scarce areas.

It is being alleged that some of these tankers are being misused.

On Tuesday, a private tanker used by the PHED for supply of drinking water to different areas was found supplying the water to a construction site.

During every election water crisis becomes a major issue. BJP leader Narendra Modi, during an election rally in Bhubaneswar, had mentioned this problem and remembered how drinking water was once supplied to Berhampur by railway tankers.

  • Supply comes down to 46 MLD against requirement of 53 MLD

  • Residents of different areas hold demonstrations