Joda: Kamarjoda pond, sprawling over 16 acres of land in Bansapali area of Joda municipality in Keonjhar holds huge potential for irrigation and drinking water purposes in Joda area. Media had reported about the need for its restoration.
Taking note of the reports, the civic body has decided to go for its restoration.
Significantly, Suryamani Pattajoshi, the executive officer of Joda municipality, held a meeting with locals recently on the restoration of the pond, which is also the oldest one in the area.
Notably, the pond is spread over 16 acres. It was dug up about 55 years ago. Over 7,000 people depend on its water. The pond has several natural springs.
Earlier, when the pond swelled out of its brims, the overflowing water catered to the needs of the local residents in wards—6, 8 and 9.
Residents of Bhuyan slum cultivate paddy and vegetables using its water but the nearby Bansapani rail siding has spelt doom for the massive pond.
Thousands of tonnes of iron ore and other minerals are stocked along the railway siding. In rainy season, the stocked minerals are washed into the pond, leading to reduction of its depth with deposits. Natural springs inside it are choked with mineral deposits.
And so, the pond started losing its water-retaining capacity while its water flow also decreased. People used to bathe and wash their clothes in the pond while domestic animals used to quench their thirst. Due to contamination, people stopped using its water for drinking purpose.
Locals have long been pressing for restoration of the pond and had intimated about their demands to the municipality. Though late, the civic body has taken note of the pond’s condition. The civic body had submitted a proposal to the state government for restoration of the pond.
Later, an Assembly house committee and the Urban Development department directed the civic body to restore the pond by using funds from the Odisha Mineral Bearing Area Development Society.
“Rs 6.31 crore will be allocated from the Odisha Mineral Bearing Area Development Society,” said the executive officer of the civic body.
It was learnt that bidders will be invited for its restoration through e-tender and its work will be completed in 11 months.