Odisha State Government Told to Speed Up Drinking Water Schemes

Bhubaneshwar, May 6, 2014: The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has asked the State Government to improve its coverage of drinking water supply in quality-affected habitations since the existing pace of work has been found to be tardy.

As large parts of the State continue to reel under blistering conditions, the State’s performance in providing water to the habitations, where quality is a suspect, has been way less than satisfactory.

The recent review by the Ministry suggested that the State Government managed barely about 39 per cent when it came to physical progress of coverage of water to quality-affected habitations during 2013-14.

While the State pointed out that shortage of manpower led to the tardy progress, the Ministry has directed the Government to take a cue from Andhra Pradesh where the system has been outsourced. The targets set for the financial year need to be met by the Government for timely release of funds, it said.

As per the information available, there are 8,151 quality- affected habitations in the State. As many as 2,200 quality- affected habitations are proposed to be provided with safe drinking water during 2014-15. Of them, 1,498 are iron-affected, 95 are fluoride-affected while 607 are saline-affected habitations.

The Ministry has asked the Government to lay emphasis on partially covered and quality-affected habitations during the ensuing year. Habitations which are covered from 0 to 25 per cent and 25 to 50 per cent must get priority for drinking water supply. The State Government must ensure that these habitations are provided 55 litre per capita per day water.

The target for 2014-15 has been set at covering 13,500 habitations of which as many as 11,300 are partially covered  and 2,200 are quality-affected. The State’s proposal for 18,000 hand pumps scheme has faced objection from the Ministry which said it was not among the priorities of the Centre.

Besides, the Government has also been directed to ensure water supply to 3,250 anganwadis functioning in Government buildings without any connection. All these centres must be covered during 2014-15 through storage tank or stand posts, the Ministry said. Besides, all schools must be covered as far as water supply is concerned.

This year, the summer has been particularly harsh and has claimed 12 lives so far. The Government on Monday said as many as 10 districts reported sunstroke deaths, with Mayurbhanj accounting for three. The unofficial death figure stands at 46. (Source: Express News Service)

06-03-2014 | Posted by Admin