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Safe drinking water to all by 2030 in State: PHE minister
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Feb 5 - The State government is working to fulfil the target of providing safe drinking water to all families in the State by 2030.

 Speaking during the Members’ Hour at the Assembly today, Minister for Public Health Engineering (PHE) and Cooperation Rihon Daimary admitted that people in many places across Assam are yet to get access to potable water.

“In many areas of the State, we have taken up works under Central and State projects and we are working towards taking care of the problem,” he said.

He added that work on over 1,500 water supply projects sanctioned by the previous government under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme was either not started or in some cases, work on such projects are still going on.

Daimary said the present government has started work on those projects which had failed to take off earlier, while payment to contractors has been made for those works which had remained incomplete as the contractors had not been paid for the job done so far.

He said each MLA has been sanctioned Rs 50 lakh this fiscal for reviving projects which had closed down or are lying dormant. “Our target is to ensure potable water supply to all families by 2030 and we are hopeful of achieving it,” he said.

Earlier, raising the issue during the Members' Hour, Khumtai BJP MLA Mrinal Saikia stressed the importance of adopting a Statewide scheme to provide safe drinking water to every household. He urged the government to sanction at least a hundred water supply projects for his constituency. He alleged that many road construction projects in his constituency are getting delayed due to lack of coordination between the PWD and the Forest departments.

“Many contractors complain that they are harassed by officials of the Forest department while ferrying raw materials despite having the requisite permit,” Saikia said, adding the Forest officials should refrain from indulging in such practices. He also called for proper development of wetlands that could be used for fishery activities.

“The government should take steps to clear water hyacinth from wetlands. Not only will this facilitate fishing activities in such places but also help in the growth of a cottage industry based on fertilisers developed from water hyacinth. Besides, water tourism can be developed in those sites. Such steps will boost economy, promote tourism, fishery and fertiliser production and generate employment,” he said.

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