Slow progress of rural drinking water projects in state irks Centre

Slow progress of rural drinking water projects in state irks Centre

Karnataka has utilised only 39% of Rs 421 cr released, says Jigajinagi

Slow progress of rural drinking water projects in state irks Centre

Union Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Jigajinagi on Friday expressed unhappiness over the Karnataka government for tardy progress in execution of rural drinking water programme despite the state reeling under severe drought.

 The Ministry of Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation has released Rs 421 crore to Karnataka for the year 2016-17 for providing drinking water to 14,442 rural habitations.

However, the state government had spent only Rs 167 crore (39.61% of total sanctioned amount) and provided water supply to just 8,955 habitations till now, Jigajinagi told reporters here.

 “With just 28 days left for completion of the current financial year, when will the state government utilise the remaining money to provide water to the parched areas?,” Jigajinagi, who is MP from Vijayapura, said.

He said that though the Centre sanctioned Rs 110 crore to provide water to 72 villages in Indi taluk in Vijayapura district three years ago, till now the project has not been implemented.

Considering the severity of drinking water crisis in Karnataka due to unprecedented drought, the Centre is ready to help the state by sanctioning more funds, he said, adding that the state government should prepare itself to avail of the benefit.

“I met both Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil several times and requested them to expedite the implementation of drinking water projects and also promised to sanction more funds,” he said.

The state government should understand the severity of the water crises across the state, Jigajinagi added.

Of the total 60,248 habitations in the state, 27,638 habitations are getting water and 30,722 partially. As many as 1,860 habitations have been  identified to be having water with fluoride and arsenic contents.

‘70 litres per person’

As per the 12th Five Year Plan, the Centre targeted to provide 70 litres of water per person per day by 2022 in rural areas.

For implementing the rural drinking water programme, the Centre will provide 50% of the cost of the project while remaining expenditure will have be borne by the state government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to provide piped drinking water to 90% of the villages in the country by 2022. The state government’s co-operation is required for the success of the project, Jigajinagi said.