Kendrapara, June 10 (LocalWire): With summer sizzling at its peak, villagers of Kendrapara district are facing a severe shortage of water since the last fortnight. Seaside villages are also in the grip of severe groundwater depletion.
Areas near the town have taken the brunt with the rural areas facing shortage in pockets.
Due to scanty rainfall and excessive utilization of groundwater over the past few years, the water-table in these areas has increasingly decreased.
In many areas the water-table was found to be one to two meters below normal and several wells have dried up since last month.
‘In the absence of any regulation, people are digging bore-wells indiscriminately, leading to certain areas having a high-density of bore-wells,’ said Biswanath Behera, a retired engineer of water resources department here.
‘Secondly, a large number of bore-wells are used for irrigation resulting in depletion of water-table in the surrounding areas.
It is thus not surprising that most of the neighbouring bore-wells cannot even sustain hand-pumps.
Drinking water paucity, therefore, becomes acute,’ added Behera.
With every passing day, drinking water scarcity is getting more acute.
It is a familiar sight to see women and children searching for water in the alleys of the town and collecting water in pitchers.
‘Contractors in nexus with Rural Water Sanitation and Sanitary (RWSS) department officials have looted crores of rupees by not digging tube-wells properly.
As a result many tube-wells have become defunct after few years,’ said Amarbar Biswal a social worker of Kendrapada.
Farmers of the district are also a worried lot with shortage of water and with the delay in arrival of monsoons.
‘Rains are also late this year adding to our problems.
Cracks have developed in the land. Monsoon clouds usually reach us by the first week of June but this year till now there is no sign of them.
Water is also not being supplied to the canals by the authorities adding to our woes,’ said Jiban Jena, a farmer from Sriramnpur.
‘The sweltering heat could be fatal for vegetable crops, especially fresh plantation that requires extra care, shade and watering,’ said Bijaya Parida a farmers’ leader from Kendrapara.