Sambalpur District

River conservation efforts need to be prioritised
Healthy forests are necessary for healthy rivers and prosperous communities that depend on the river, say experts. Posted on 05 Apr, 2019 02:06 PM

Odisha is home to 11 major rivers of which many are interstate rivers such as the Mahanadi. As climate change makes extreme rainfall events more frequent in the state, there is an urgent need to better manage the rivers and their basins.

Engagement with indigenous communities in protecting natural forests and rivers is vital (Image: Priya Ranjan Sahoo)
The Mahanadi tussle: Why Chhattisgarh and Odisha spar
A video provides an overview of the water conflict between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the Mahanadi. Posted on 08 Aug, 2018 05:08 PM

The interstate dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the Mahanadi's water is an ongoing one and it looks like both the state governments have no interest in finding a long-term solution.

The Hirakud dam on the Mahanadi (Source: India Water Portal)
The fight for the doomed land
Here's a video that tells the story of the struggle of the people displaced by the Hirakud dam and their right over the land. Posted on 04 Oct, 2017 05:36 AM

On January 13, 1957, the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the Hirakud dam, calling it the temple of modern India. It has submerged more than 360 villages (1,23,000 acres of land) and displaced 26,561 families.

Hirakud Dam (Source: India Water Portal)
Damn the dams, say the displaced
Many people have been displaced by major dam projects in the country. A bigger threat, however, lies in the ageing dams waiting to collapse. Posted on 30 Aug, 2016 12:28 PM

"If you are to suffer, you should suffer in the interest of the country.”

- Jawaharlal Nehru, speaking to villagers who were to be displaced by the Hirakud Dam in 1948.

The Hirakud dam
Government schemes converge at Sarda Panchayat in Sambalpur, Odisha
Thanks to the successful implementation of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) scheme, villagers began to believe in collective action and community development. Posted on 24 Apr, 2016 11:41 AM

Since India became independent in 1947, the central and state governments have introduced various rural development schemes, and have been trying to get them to converge. While this effort hasn't been as impactful on a large scale, there are some success stories. Sarda Panchayat in Sambalpur, Odisha is one.   

View of Sarda village, Odisha
Piped water scheme changes the lives of Odisha villagers
Bandhabhuin village went from having 1 handpump for 400 people to 7, toilet facilities in 55% of the houses and had an overall improvement in its social and economic fabric. Posted on 19 Sep, 2015 05:55 PM

In India, about Rs.70,000 crore 

Anup Munda showing his functional toilet at Bandha Bhuin
Water problems with quality and access plague Sambalpur, Odisha
Groundwater in Talabeda village in Sambalpur, Odisha has high concentrations of iron but more urgently, its water supply system is dysfunctional for the last 2 weeks due to electricity issues. Posted on 27 Aug, 2015 04:00 PM

It's been more than 15 days and the drinking water crisis in Talabeda village in Sambalpur, Odisha is yet to be addressed. The water supply system of the village collapsed due to a fault in the transformer located within the premises of the Talabeda pump house, and no one has the time to fix this and restart the water supply system. 

The colour of the tiles around the public stand-post at Talabeda, Odisha have changed from white to red due to iron contamination.
Are there solutions to epidemics from water-borne diseases?
The recent jaundice outbreak in Sambalpur, Odisha has again unfolded several questions related to rise of water-borne diseases in urban areas in India. This film explores these problems. Posted on 02 Mar, 2015 10:06 PM

Between May and December 2014, 17 deaths were registered in Sambalpur due to jaundice but residents say that the death toll due to water-borne diseases is much more than that. In January 2015, the Odisha High Court issued a notice to the state government asking it to furnish details on the steps taken to check the Jaundice outbreak in Sambalpur. 

What is Jaundice?

Polluted water in Sambalpur, Odisha
Doomed by displacement
The Hirakud dam in Odisha was supposed to control flooding and bring people water and power. Instead, it has taken away their livelihoods and only brought them hardship and misery. Posted on 11 Jun, 2014 09:07 PM

The Hirakud Dam project is the oldest of its kind in India. The dam was built across the Mahanadi river about 15 kms upstream of Sambalpur in the state of Odisha. It is the first major multipurpose river valley project in post-independent India and also one of its longest.

Hirakud, India's oldest dam
Himachal prone to Uttarakhand-like flash floods
News this week Posted on 02 Jun, 2014 04:24 PM

Scientists say Himachal prone to Uttarakhand-like flash floods

Glacier lake in HP (Source: Ankit Solanki)