Good news for the people of fluoride-hit habitations of Nuapada district that a mega pipe water supply initiative for fluoride mitigation in 541 out of 905 affected habitations has finally started. Work orders for eight projects out of total 13 have already been issued to contractors, who were selected a month back through tender process.
“The stipulated time for completion of three projects out of the eight – two in Khariar block (Thelkodongri and Kuligaon) and one in Sinapali block (Chhot Darlipada) – is one year and the completion period allotted for the rest five is two years,” said Gopal Naik, Executive Engineer (EE) of the RWS&S Fluoride Project. These five projects would be located at Bargaon, Litiguda and Khalna of Sinapali block, Khalipani of Nuapada block and Krishna of Komna block.
The construction works of other five projects — Palsada of Boden block, Pipalchhendi and Patora of Nuapada block, Ichhapur of Komna and Ranipur of Khariar block — would be undertaken by the L&T Company on EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) mode. “The proposals of these five projects are yet to be submitted by the L&T to the Government,” revealed Naik.
A total of 13 projects with an estimated cost of Rs 543.63 crore have been planned to supply pipe water to 338 fluoride-affected habitations. The fund had been provided by the Nabard in 2015, but due to delay in floating of tender and subsequently due to single-tender application, implementation was delayed by more than two years.
Apart from these 13 mega projects, the department would also complete other 40 small pipe water supply (PWS) projects, which are supposed to cover 203 habitations of the district.
Work orders have already been issued for five projects out of the 40 to be constructed in Kukrimunda, Kendubahara, Koten and Darlipakhan of Nuapada block and Mallikmunda of Komna block.
It is learnt that the Fluoride Project office of the RWS&S is reeling under staff shortage, which would affect a smooth implementation of the PWS projects.
Out of three sanctioned posts of Junior Engineer, two are lying vacant. Further, the post of Estimator is also vacant since long, which has created a lot of obstacle for preparation and finalisation of the proposals. It is learnt that the local RWSS authorities have already intimated about this problem to the higher authorities.
“If the required staffs are not posted, it will be difficult to complete the projects in time; and in addition, the quality of work will also suffer due to lack of regular supervision,” said RWSS sources.