Bhubaneswar, March 18 -- At the very onset of summer, the pictures of Odisha's longest river Mahanadi emerging in districts like Subarnapur, Boudh and Nayagarh are alarming.

There is sand and sand in the river as far as one can see. The gorges are looking like puddles. It seems that the lifeline of the state is struggling for its own life. The fast-drying up Mahanadi has started leaving its mark on the riparian areas.

Nayagarh town is a case in point.

Even at the beginning of the summer, the town is grappling with acute drinking water problem. The three turbines of a drinking water project at Banapur have been lying defunct for a week now, thanks to the decreasing water level in the river. While drinking water supply has been severely ...