With the onset of sweltering summer and the level of groundwater declining day-by-day in Kalahandi district, the denizens clamour for a bucket of drinking water. Even if one manages to get it, hardly any disinfected water is found. Almost in every house in the district headquarters town Bhawanipatna water is being used privately after spending Rs 25,000 on sinking a personal tube-well.
With the onset of the sizzling summer, bore-well machine dots every nook and corner of the town. Each and every household is found desperately digging a tube-well of its own in almost all the towns in the district.
On the other hand, the poor hardly get the scope of tapping the tube-well water as the stream water usually gets dried up in every area in the summer season. According to the Government records, one tube-well has been supplied for every 80 households. While it has been implemented only in the town areas, hardly one notices tube-wells in the rural pockets here in the district. If at all it is hit upon, it is found to be defunct.
The poor villagers have to trek two to three kilometres to collect potable water may it be from an old well, river water or tube-well. In the villages of Risida and Sapalahari GP under Karlamunda block, hundreds of women walk down to the river barefoot.
While some rush to the well, a few to the tube-well after covering minimum a kilometre. It takes hours to fill their bucket as they stand daylong in queues even under scorching rays of the sun.
It was shocking to notice the rural folks in Thuamul Rampur block using drinking water from the cultivated land after digging a small well with their own hands. With the temperature rising every year, the groundwater table is decreasing while the supply of water from the river to the industries is further compounding the woes.
The situation of the villages under Kesinga block has been worst, especially in summer, as gallons of water are being guzzled up by the industries from the Tel river.
Junagarh MLA Gobardhan Das told the media that the Centre has been clearly stating to the State Government for the last four years that the river water can be supplied to the households, but the State is yet to implement the scheme. The district administration is still reluctant to supply drinking water in the hamlets and thus has been a major concern for all.
Source: The Pioneer