Centre releases funds for rural drinking water scheme

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Chandigarh, Mar 5 (UNI) The Union Government has released an amount of Rs 24.11 crore for improving drinking water quality in seven districts of Punjab.

These funds are part of first instalment of 45 per cent of Central share of Rs 70.77 crore under Revised Sub Mission Programme of Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (Quality) during 2007-08.

Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Bikram Singh Majithia has appreciated the efforts of the Water Supply Department for getting the funds released within one month of sending the proposal to the Union Government.

According to an official spokesman, the state Government in its state level Scheme Sanctioning Committee meeting held in January this year had approved projects for tackling the water problem in 779 affected habitations, through 588 water supply schemes spread over the districts of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Gurdaspur, Hoshairpur, Nawanshehar and Ferozepur.

Water available at shallow depths in these villages was found to be contaminated due to presence of excess iron, saline or fluoride salts. It was proposed to tap water from deeper strata where it was found to be potable in these villages by installing deep tubewells.

The spokesman said a total population of about 7 lakh would benefit from this project. This project would be executed on sharing basis with a total outlay of Rs 96.73lak in which Rs 23.59 crore would be the share of the State Government.

The community contributions would be around Rs 2.36 crore which would be utilised for laying of pipelines in the villages. The project would be completed within two years.

The spokesman said the government was committed to cover all the villages of the state with potable water supply by 2011-12. For this purpose, World Bank financed project amounting to Rs 2530.80 crore was already on, under which Pilot Batch of 81 schemes covering 88 villages were likely to be operationalised by September this year.


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