Karnataka fails to tackle contaminated water issue
State registers dismal 20 per cent achievement against set target; joins Maharashtra, TN and others
Karnataka and several other major states have performed rather poorly against the targets set for addressing the problem of contamination in drinking water in rural areas.
Though Karnataka had a target to address the problem of contamination in drinking water in 2,678 rural habitations during 2013-14, the state government could do so in only 347 villages till the end of October. The state thus registered a 12.96 per cent achievement against the target set under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) for the current financial year.
Karnataka also performed poorly in providing safe drinking water to schools. The state had a target of providing safe drinking water to 3,000 rural schools under the drinking water scheme in 2013-14, but it could do so in only 285 till October 31 last.
Only 6,183 schools across the country could be provided with safe drinking water so far against the nationwide target of 24,730 for 2013-14.
Karnataka, along with Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, also registered achievements below 20 per cent of the targets for providing drinking water to anganwadi centres.
Not only Karnataka, but many other major states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan, recorded achievements below 20 per cent of the targets set for addressing the problems of contamination in drinking water in 2013-14.
According to the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (UDMWS), the performances of Gujarat, Haryana, Bihar and Odisha were also poor, with all recording achievements between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of the targets set for the current financial year.
AP fares better
Andhra Pradesh, however, did better, registering 50.23 per cent achievement against the targets set for addressing problem of drinking water contamination in the rural areas. The MDWS, which recently reviewed implementation of the NRDWP, asked the state governments to present action plans to speed up execution of the projects under the programme in order to meet the targets before March 31, 2014.
For the year 2013-14, Karnataka has a target to address the problems in 1,315 rural habitations, where drinking water is contaminated with fluoride. The state government, however, could do so only in 144 villages.
Similarly, against a target of providing safe drinking water to 622 villages with nitrate contamination in water before March 31, 2014, the state could do the same only in 127 till October 31 last. The state has a target of addressing the problem of iron contamination in 374 villages during the current financial year, but it could till October 31 last cover only 46.
Though the Centre had allocated Rs 172.29 crore for Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance Programme in rural areas across the country during the current financial year, the states could so far spend only Rs 45.23 crore.
Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana are among the states which recorded less than 20 per cent achievements in utilising the fund allocated for addressing the problem of contamination of water.