89.7 per cent depend on public taps to collect water: survey

Over sixty percent of the people in the city were dissatisfied over drinking water supply in this perennially water scarce city.

Workshop

It was revealed by a recent social audit report of drinking water supply in Berhampur. The social audit was conducted by members of Youth for Social Development (YSD). Findings of this social audit were discussed at a workshop held in the city on Saturday. The workshop was also attended by dignitaries of the city and officials of the Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO), including its executive engineer Prashant Mohapatra. As per the social audit report 60.7 per cent of the respondents of the survey were dissatisfied with the drinking water supply service of the PHEO in the city.

Alarming fact

The alarming fact was dissatisfaction of households in the city over drinking water supply had increased during past few years. As per a survey made in 2008, the respondents dissatisfied over quality and quantity of water supply was 47.9 per cent.

As per Bibhu Prasad Sahu of YSD, 92 per cent of the respondents of this recent social audit were women, who face problems of drinking water supply in day-to-day life.

The report revealed that only 15.7 per cent of the respondents had access to taps in their homes and 89.7 per cent of them depended on public taps to collect drinking water. This hinted that there were families who had to depend on public taps despite having drinking water connection to their homes.

According to findings 61.7 per cent of the respondents got water supply for few hours only once in a day. More than 30 per cent of respondents alleged that quantity of water supplied was insufficient for their needs.

Water supply was for one hour for 44.5 per cent respondents while 31 per cent received drinking water supply for two hours in a day. Around 63 per cent of the respondents alleged that water supply pressure was too low at public taps which was affecting the quantity of water collected from these taps.

It was found that more than half of the public stand posts meant for drinking water supply did not have regulators to control water drainage which was a major cause of loss of drinking water.

More than half of the public taps did not have proper concrete basements and they were also not properly connected to any drain.

The report suggested that extra public taps had to be installed in the city with priority for drinking water shortage areas.

It also urged the PHEO authorities to strengthen their grievance redressal mechanism to come closer to the common mass.

The executive engineer of PHEO, Mr Mohapatra said with increase in water storage units in the city drinking water supply would be made better. He said 208 km of drinking water pipeline would be laid in the city. Out of it 170 km of pipeline would be in areas not covered by piped drinking water supply.