5th June, 2003
Ministry of Rural Development


RURAL DEVELOPMENT MINISTER EMPHASIZED UPON WATER CONSERVATION

92.13 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 water.

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.

   
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