New Delhi, May13, 2012: Rural Development Minister and the Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Shri Jairam Ramesh said, for the first time a provision was made in the budget for tackling the drinking water quality in the affected States. 500 crore rupees have been earmarked for dealing with the prevalence of iron, fluoride, arsenic and nitrate in the drinking water sources.
Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, he said, the problem is particularly acute in states like West Bengal, Rajasthan, Eastern UP, Bihar, Odisha, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He said, under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, upto 3% of the allocation made to the states could be utilized for water quality monitoring and surveillance activities which interalia include setting up of new district and sub-district laboratories and upgradation of existing laboratories. Regarding the availability of drinking water in rural areas as per the Census 2011 figures, about 78 percent of the rural households of the country have drinking water available within or near their premises that is within a distance of 500 metres. Shri Ramesh, however concluded that the long term solution for the drinking water is the piped surface water. (Source: PIB)