Sambalpur DRM says no to MCL’s drinking water pipeline on its Land

Sambalpur (SBP): After rejecting the proposal of the State Government to construct a rail over bridge at Khetrajpur level crossing, the Sambalpur railway division has refused to accord permission to Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) to lay underground drinking water pipelines on railway land near MCL Captive Township in Burla.

While denying to give permission, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Ajaya Pratap Singh has asked the MCL authorities to lay pipelines to its Anand Vihar township through Burla town.

To add to the woes, the railway authorities even tried to remove the old pipelines on its land. When members of Odisha Collieries Mazdoor Sangh (OCMS) informed about their activities, Burla police intervened and stopped the work.

Sources said, when the railway authorities were digging out the old pipelines which supply water from the treatment plant in Ananda Vihar township to the corporate office and Jagruti Vihar township located on either side of the power channel at Burla, members of OCMS requested the authorities to stop the work as it would stop water supply to about 1500 MCL staff and their families in Jagruti Vihar but to no avail. Later, they sought the help of Burla Police.

Sources said the suggestion by the DRM to lay pipelines through Burla town would entail huge expenditure while it can be done by laying the pipelines for a couple of kms on railway land.

While the workers of MCL are planning to launch an agitation against the indifferent attitude of railway authorities, how Sambalpur Railway Division allowed private telecom service operators to lay optical fibre cables on its land remain unanswered.

It may be noted that the Supreme Court had directed the State Government not to disconnect or disrupt water pipelines during summer. When the temperature is hovering around 45 degree Celsius, how could the DRM think of removing the old pipelines, a senior official of MCL questioned.

General secretary of OCMS Rabindra Kumar Baboo said the proposal is to replace the existing PVC pipes with iron pipes. Moreover, even if the railway lays tracks, it does not require to dig up the land, he added.