|Focus on piped water, Centre tells Sonowal|
NEW DELHI, July 7 - The Centre has asked Assam to focus on providing safe drinking water in 3,881 arsenic- and fluoride-affected habitations of the State by December 2020. It has also asked the State to provide piped water to 14,725 villages in 10 affected districts.
Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat today held discussion with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal through video conference on the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in the State.
Sonowal assured expeditious implementation of the Mission in the State.
Official sources here said Assam is planning 100 per cent coverage by 2024 to accomplish the ambitious target of providing tap water connection to every rural household of the State.
Assam was allocated Rs 1,407 crore for the financial year 2020-21 and including the State’s share, there is assured availability of Rs 2,072 crore. Assam is also eligible for additional allocation based on physical and financial performance. Since Assam has been allocated Rs 1,604 crore under the 15th Finance Commission grants to PRIs, 50 per cent of it is to be used for water supply and sanitation.
The Central minister requested Sonowal to plan for utilising this fund for rural water supply, grey-water treatment and reuse, and most importantly for ensuring long-term operation and maintenance of the water supply schemes. Shekhawat reminded Sonowal that out of 63.35 lakh rural households in Assam, the State has so far provided tap water connection to only 1.72 lakh households.
Assam plans to provide tap water connections to 13.15 lakh households during 2020-21. The Union minister reiterated the commitment of the Central government to provide all assistance to Assam to achieve this goal.