OdishaPlus Bureau

Govt of Odisha led mega piped drinking water projects, including the flagship ‘Drink From Tap Mission’, is fast augmenting access to clean drinking water for the people across urban and rural areas. Supported by Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC), the mandate of these programs is being accelerated in mining affected districts delivering drinking water at the doorsteps and changing the landscape of water equity.

A total of 30 mega rural drinking water supply projects, under Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Department, are being made functional with OMBADC assistance. It aims to provide piped drinking water at four mining affected districts namely Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj and Jajpur along with Pallahara block of Angul district. With 5 projects partially implemented, beneficiaries at 204 villages now have access to potable water.

“Earlier we faced shortage of water. But this challenge is no more. Thanks to the district administration & OMBADC, we easily get potable water through pipes near our house which we use for drinking and cooking,” says Kailash Sahu, a resident of Hatadihi block in Keonjhar district.

Under Mega Rural Piped Water Supply Projects, intake wells are constructed on rivers flowing through the local area. The water is then purified at the treatment plants and ultimately supplied to the target areas through intermediary overhead tanks.

Similarly, under the Drink from Tap Mission by Housing & Urban Development Department, OMBADC supports projects across 14 ULBs of the state. The water is treated using state of the art technology and provision is made to provide piped water to every household in urban areas.

OMBADC supports the mission being implemented in Baripada, Rairangpur, Karanjia and Udala towns of Mayurbhanj district. The work has also been taken up in Sundargarh, Rajgangpur and Birmitrapur municipalities along with Rourkela Municipal Corporation in Sundargarh dsitrict.

Similarly, in Keonjhar district, these urban piped water supply projects are being implemented in Joda, Barbil, Anandapur, Champua and Keonjhar ULBs. A project is also underway at Vyasanagar municipality in Jajpur district.

Once all the OMBADC supported urban drinking water projects are operational, over 1 lakh 23 thousand families across 14 target ULBs stand to benefit.

“The water supply earlier was timebound and we had to go far from home to fetch water. But now, thanks to the govt, we are getting piped water at our doorstep. As the water is purified, we can use it directly,” says Laxmipriya Mahanta, a resident of Champua town, Keonjhar.

Moreover, in areas with no conventional water sources nearby, single and multi-village piped water supply initiatives have been taken up with the financial aid of OMBADC. As part of the same, 690 projects drawing groundwater are being implemented in Rairangpur and Baripada divisions of Mayurbhanj district.

In many mining-affected areas, the ground water contains various mineral salts. So, the water from people’s tubewells and borewells may not be fit for use. Bridging the gap, the OMBADC supported drinking water supply projects in target areas are now playing an important role in providing access to clean drinking water for the mining affected and local population.