RURAL DEVELOPMENT MINISTER EMPHASIZED
UPON WATER CONSERVATION
PERCENT RURAL HABITATION COVERED WITH DRINKING WATER
Shri Kashiram Rana,
Minister of Rural Development emphasized upon water conservation
and rain water harvesting measures to meet competing rural drinking
water demands from various sectors. Such rainwater harvesting
schemes will not only be helpful in making sources sustainable
and save systems from becoming defunct, but stored rainwater can
be used to meet supplementary domestic requirement.
While holding a review
meeting on rural drinking water and sanitation here today, the
Minister said that a massive awareness programme on matters related
to sanitation and water borne diseases is the need of the hour.
Expressing concern over water quality problems in rural areas,
the Minister urged upon State Governments to complete the Sub
Mission Programmes within a definite time frame.
In order to solve
the drinking water problem in the areas affected by drought and
other natural calamities, it has been decided that with effect
from 1-4-2002, 5% of the funds under ARWSP will be earmarked every
year for mitigating contingency arising due to natural calamities
and emergent situation during Tenth Plan.
Shri P. Mohan Das,
Secretary Rural Drinking Water Supply informed that during the
year 2003-04, Rs.111.75 crore has been earmarked for natural calamities.
Out of this amount, Rs.15.54 crore has been released to Madhya
Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan while drought mitigation proposals
from Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan are under process. He said
under Swajaldhara Programme, 4986 projects have been approved
for 15 states/1 union territory. The total approved project cost
is Rs.298 crore. Under Total Sanitation Campaign, 288 projects
have been sanctioned. Regarding physical achievements of the sanitation
campaign, the Secretary highlighted that 25.12 lakh individual
house holds toilets, 32231 school toilets, 1050 women complexes
and 3887 Anganwadi toilets have been constructed so far. Out of
total number of 14.23 lakh rural habitations in the country, 13.10
lakh habitations are fully covered and 99000are partially covered
and only 12000 rural habitations are not covered with rural drinking
Shri Kashiram Rana
said that in order to provide incentive to Panchayati Raj Institutions,
individuals and organisations for full sanitation coverage, a
proposal for introduction of Nirmal Gram Puraskar for achieving
sanitation coverage is on the anvil.