Under the scheme, surface water of rivers, flowing through the district, would be filtered and supplied to the villages. It will replace the present practice of digging borewells for the purpose, official sources said.

"As the groundwater level is fast depleting, surface water will come in handy in providing drinking water in rural areas," said Executive Engineer of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS), Koraput, Manoranjan Mali.

Given the topography of the district with hilly terrains and villages situated at far-flung areas, RWSS also finds it difficult to take up digging work with the borewell digging vehicle, he said.

"Under the new scheme, pipelines connected to the main project will be laid in the rural areas," Mali said.

Besides surface water of Indravati, Saberi Kolab, Putra and Telangiri rivers, water of Jolaput and Upper Kolab dam will be supplied in rural areas under the scheme, the executive engineer said.

While the 10 projects would cost Rs 600 crore, the one to be taken up first in Boipariguda block by using the surface water of Saberi river has been pegged at Rs 109.47 crore. "The project at Boipariguda will cover 267 villages of 13 panchayats, which is around 80 per cent of the total villages in the block," Mali said.

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