Bhubaneswar, April 20: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday inaugurated 100 urban drinking water supply projects worth Rs.63 crore to benefit 27 lakh people living in 41 urban local bodies in the state.
About 65 lakh of the 4.20 crore people in Odisha live in urban areas.
The chief minister said his government is committed to provide equitable, affordable, sustainable and safe water supply to the entire urban population with a special focus on the urban poor.
The chief minister directed the authorities concerned to ensure that all these 100 projects started functioning in the next two days and submit a report in this regard within the next seven days.
"Our government is working towards providing 135 litres per person per day and to provide piped water supply connections to all urban households, including slums," Patnaik said.
He said free domestic water supply connections will be given to all urban poor and economically weaker sections in the state by waiving the upfront fee of Rs.500 per connection.
The chief minister said the Odisha government had simplified the procedure for providing drinking water supply connections to the urban poor in December, which benefitted about three lakh urban poor in 68,000 households.
The housing and urban development department has identified 422 water scarcity areas in 185 wards of 24 urban local bodies experiencing water shortage in summers, he added.
Patnaik said he will review the status of the water supply projects once a week and asked the ministers of panchayati raj, housing and urban development and rural development departments to conduct review meetings twice a week and inform him about the status of these projects.
Meanwhile, official sources said that Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation schemes entailing an investment of Rs.325 crore (63 projects) have been approved for implementation in nine urban local bodies with more than one lakh population each.
These include the municipal corporations of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur and the municipalities in Puri, Baripada, Balasore and Bhadrak.