Khatkar Kalan (Nawanshehr), Dec 18 (UNI) Punjab has lagged behind in the field of pure drinking water and total sanitation programme in rural areas, said Water Supply and Sanitation principal secretary JR Kundal here today.
While speaking on the second day of the Bharat Nirman Public Infomation Campaign, being organised by the Press Information Bureau, Mr Kundal said though the government was committed to provide pure drinking water and sanitation facilities to the rural masses but as compared to other states, Punjab is far behind in proving the facilities.
He regretted that not even a single village of the state has been declared as ''Nirmal Gram'' so far.
Mr Kundal asked Deputy Commissioner Gurpal Singh Bhatti to prepare a list of at 25 villages of the district to be brought under Nirmal Gram Purashkar Yojna, which envisages the construction of toilets in all the households in the villages to keep them clean and pollution free.
He said that the village declared Nirmal Gram would be awarded a sum of Rs two lakh.
Expressing concern over the fast receding ground water level, Mr Kundal said that every human being needs at least 40 litres of water every day whereas, animals need 30 litres of water per animal everyday, for which proper arrangements should be made to ensure pure drinking water for them.
He said about three decades ago, water was available at the depth of oly 150 to 200 feet, whereas, it had now been available at teh depth of moe than 1200 feet. This figure is sufficient to indicate the problem of acute water shortage to be faced by the people in the years to come.
He asked the district administration to involve NRIs in the water supply and sanitation projects, besides development works in the respective villages with cooperation of village sarpanches and elders.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Gurpal Singh Bhatti had convened a meeting with officials from Water Supply and Sanitation department and directed them to identify 25 villages in the district to bring under Nirmal Gram Puraskar Yojana.