Rural Development Minister calls for safe drinking water by 2009

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New Delhi, Nov 7 (UNI) Rural Development Minister Dr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh today called for implementation of safe drinking water supply by the year 2009 and total sanitation by 2012 throughout the country.

Addressing the Consultative Committee members attached to his Ministry, Dr Singh said here that a clean village would lead to a healthy village, which will lead to a healthy India.

He emphasised the need of close monitoring of various programmes that would help the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme and Total Sanitation Programme become a complete success within a specified period. He informed the members that the Ministry is laying special emphasis on sustainability of rural water supply sources.

He said the Department of Drinking Water Supply, under the Ministry of Rural Development, has accorded the highest priority the to supply of drinking water sources and system to prevent the slippages. He said that bringing sustainability to drinking water system in rural India is the topmost priority of the Department.

He urged the States to undertake rainwater harvesting and water conservation with cost effective technology, which will help in creating more drinking water souces. Low cost technologies are to be promoted not only for meeting drinking water requirements but also for recharging of the water bodies.

He urged the members to closely monitor these schemes in their respective constituencies and inform the Department immediately if they find any shortcomings in implementation.

The Minister also emphasised on the need of total sanitation campaign, which has now covered 48 per cent of the country. He said that every village has to become a 'NIRMAL GRAM' by 2012.

He also told the members the scheme of providing sanitation facilities in school is progressing well and it is estimated that by 2009 every school in the rural areas will have a toilet facility.

The Members of Parliament from various States raised the issue of more toilets in rural areas and the problems of contamination of water by arsenic, fluoride, iron and other substances. They urged the Ministry to tackle water quality problems particularly to control fluoride and arsenic in the areas affected by this contamination.

The Minister assured the Members that his Ministry is taking full care of this problem and giving it the topmost priority as it badly affects the health of the people. The Members also brought to the notice of the Minister that more effective monitoring and surveillance of the programme is required at all levels to achieve the implementation within prescribed time limit.

The demand of quality water to all sections of the society is to be met to ensure better health and faster socio-economic development of the country, which is very necessary for sustained economic growth, the Members of Parliament urged.

The main agenda of the Consultative Committee today was 'Rural Water Supply and Sanitation'. A video presentation was given to the members to show the progress of the various programmes for rural water supply, which is a component of Bharat Nirman programme.

UNI

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