GUWAHATI, Aug 26 – The State Public Health Engineering Minister Gautam Roy today assured the House that steps would be taken to revive the defunct drinking water supply schemes, although providing free drinking water would not be possible.
Replying to the debate on the cut motion, Roy also assured that by 2016, drinking water in Assam will be free from arsenic.
“I agree there are problems as pointed out by the legislators. The State government is committed to solve them in a phased manner,” the Minister said.
Legislators from AIUDF, BJP and Congress had raised serious apprehensions about the functioning of the department.
While Jayanta Malla Baruah (Congress) questioned why some select suppliers and contractors were given undue advantages in spite of they providing quality items and services.
He said that the rural population is the most affected lot when it comes to non-functioning of the water supply projects.
“Supply of inferior quality materials and irregular supply of drinking water has hit the rural population hard,” the Nalbari MLA said.
Baghbar MLA Sherman Ali also took part in the debate stating that those responsible for malfunctioning of the projects under the PHE department must be identified and given exemplary punishment.
“The char areas will have to be given more importance compared to other better-off places in terms of providing drinking water facilities,” Ali said, while questioning as to why no concrete steps had been taken to revive the projects lying defunct.
Rupjyoti Kurmi (Congress) also requested the Minister to organize review meeting in each district.
BJP MLA Ranjit Das and a few other legislators vouched for an overhaul of the entire system to meet the basic requirements of the common man.