Govt gears up for summer water crisis

Last Updated 22 April 2014, 19:50 IST

The State government will release Rs 250 crore in two instalments to mitigate drinking water shortage during summer, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil has said.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Patil said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had instructed the Finance department to immediately release Rs 100 crore under Calamity Relief Fund (CRF). Another instalment of Rs 150 crore will be released in a few days, he added.

The funds will be utilised for supply of water through tankers, maintenance of existing borewells, drilling of new borewells, hydrofracturing among others. In addition to the Rs 250 crore, a balance of Rs 240 crore is already available with various zilla panchayats provided under National Rural Drinking Water Programme, he said. Drinking water action plan chalked out by panchayats will also be implemented.

As many as 300 villages in Kolar, Mysore, Bangalore Rural, Ramanagar, Gadag, Bidar, Belgaum and other districts are being supplied drinking water through tankers.

Patil said that he had recently received some complaints on wages provided under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme being illegally withdrawn from banks using ATM cards. The complaints had been received from the districts of Yadgir and Tumkur, the minister said and added that the government was contemplating ordering an inquiry into the matter.

Target achieved

He said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) was already inquiring into the exceptionally large amount of wages provided under the MGNREGS in March 2011. He said the State had achieved its target of generating 6.91 crore persondays under the scheme in 2013-14.

The State has been sanctioned a grant of Rs 3,155 crore under the scheme for the year 2014-15, he said.

Social auditors will inspect all toilets built under the scheme to ensure the quality and will also check for irregularities, Patil added.

(Published 22 April 2014, 19:50 IST)

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