Bhawanipatna: The shrinking stream and a defunct tubewell have added to the water woes of 35 tribal families of Manastara village in Kalahandi district.
Safe drinking water has always been a concern for this village on hilly terrain ensconced by forests. Women fetch water from a nearby stream for drinking and bathing purposes all year through. With mercury hovering around 40 to 42 degree Celsius, the stream too is fast drying up.
In 1992, rural water supply and sanitation (RWSS) department had dug a sanitary well in the village. However, it was rendered useless after a month. “We are forced to drink the stream water, knowing well that it is not safe. Children battle diarrhoea from time to time,” said a 55-year-old tribal woman.
The village, which is yet to electrified, does not a concrete road and a heath centre. “The nearest health centre, Biswanathpur CHC, is 15 km away. We have to walk all the way for health services,” Sana Majhi, another villager
Assistant Engineer, RWSS, Chaitanya Charan Soren said they are yet to receive a complaint about the defunct tubewell. “We will get it repaired immediately,” he said.
Buda Majhi, a village leader, alleged that successive MLAs had failed to understand their problems.
Lanjigarh MLA and planning board chairman Balabhadra Mahi said a proper road to village would help solve the problems. “I will use the MLA LAD fund for the road work and to sink a new tubewell in the village,” he said.