Badal inaugurates Rs 3.22 crore drinking water scheme

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Muktsar, Feb 18 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal inaugurated the community based Reverse Osmosis Safe Drinking Water Scheme, costing Rs 3.22 crore, here today.

Speaking on the occasion, he said the scheme was a part of the memorandum of understanding signed with Naandi Foundation for supply of potable water in Gidderbaha area.

The Naandi Foundation, a Hyderabad-based non-government organization (NGO) was already working in eight states on public-private partership basis on issues related to poverty eradication and community development, he pointed out.

Mr Badal said the State Government had already inked a Rs 1280 crore agreement with the World Bank for Punjab Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project.

The project is duly financed by the World Bank to the extent of Rs 751 crore. The Punjab Governemnt will contribute Rs 245 crore and the Central Government Rs 207 crore. The community contribution is Rs 77 crore.

The Project was aimed at covering 2124 "not covered villages" and 920 "partially covered villages", improving the existing water supply schemes in 1600 villages, providing small bore sewer in 100 villages besides renovating ponds in 1000 villages of the state.

The Chief Minister appealed to village panchayats to come forward and convince the people to contribute their respective shares of 10 % and 5 % for the World Bank's drinking water and sewerage schemes respectively.

He categorically said that the State Government alone could not implement these schemes on its own due to certain inbuilt terms and conditions where the monetary participation of the people was mandatory.

The Chief Minister said that quality of drinking water in the Malwa belt was relatively very poor, causing skin disorders and Cancer. The participation of people in these schemes of basic civic amenities would not only improve their quality of life but also save them from the possible deadly diseases.

Referring to the modernization and upgradation of Canal network in the Malwa belt which was very old, Mr Badal said the state irrigation and drainage department had undertaken a massive programme at a cost of Rs 3250 crore for de-silting and lining of canals and water courses to enhance the intake capacity of water for irrigation purposes by atleast 25% to 30% especially at the tail end areas in this region.

In his address Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said that Naandi Foundation would set up 53 Reverse Osmosis (RO) Plants in Muktsar district with output capacity of 1500 litres, 1000 litres, and 500 liters per hour. It will supply water at the rate of 10 paise per litre to the domestic users. The cost of each RO plant of 500 litre per hour would be Rs 5 lakh and that of 1000 litre per hour would be Rs 6 lakh.

Earlier, the Chief Minister also launched the community based drinking water scheme at Kot Ablu village in Gidderbaha.

UNI VKJ MMS1827

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