December 15, 2011 admin


Chandigarh, December 15: A broad consensus today emerged amongst all the states for formulating a National Policy on Water Management to prepare the country to face the challenges posed by depleting ground water level and to ensure optimum usage of available hydro sources.
            A three day National Workshop on sustainable rural water supply and sanitation services being hosted by the state Water Supply and Sanitation Department inaugurated by   Punjab Chief Secretary Mr. S.C Agrawal today underlined the need for formulating a National Policy on Water Management as over use of ground water for irrigation purpose was further marginalizing the rapidly depleting water sources thereby posing a serious threat to availability of safe drinking water for each citizen.
            The Chief Secretary pointed out that in the changing scenario when most of the sources of water were depleting, the treatment of waste water becomes imperative as it could make a significant contribution for irrigation purpose.  He said that it was high time to sensitize the people about water management especially in urban areas where the wastage of water was very high.  He said that the per capita water usage of Delhi was too high in comparison of Paris despite it has just few hours water supplies whereas in Paris it was 24×7.  
            Congratulating the state Water Supply and Sanitation department for making revolutionary achievements on Water Supply front in rural areas, Mr. Agrawal said that Punjab was leading the country in successful implementation of World Bank’s unique water supply project in which community play a major role both in the form of financial contribution and then management of the scheme.  He informed that number of villages in the state have been ensured 24x 7 fully metered drinking water supplies. He said that he has no  hesitation to admit that rural water supply schemes were being run more efficiently than in urban areas and the whole credit goes to the department and World Bank for successful implementation of the project.  He said that the myth that rural population would not pay for drinking water was also discarded with over whelming response of rural population for this project to get safe drinking water.  He expressed confidence that the deliberations in the ongoing workshop would immensely help in chalking out the future strategies for effective water management.
            Shri P.S. Aujla Secretary Water Supply & Sanitation in his welcome and introductory address informed how Department of water supply & sanitation transformed the non performing PRWSS Project, in the year 2007-08 to a satisfactorily performing project by the year 2010-11. He informed that by October 2011, total of 1350 Gram Panchayats have submitted their demand for joining the project. and up till now 617 villages have been commissioned under IDA funded programme. Secretary Water Supply & Sanitation resolved that all the schemes in the PRWSS Project would not only be implemented within the allocated period but would also become self sustainable within a period of 6-12 months of its commissioning. He said that  O&M of an average sized water supply scheme becomes financially self sustainable, once the threshold limit of 70% water connections is achieved. Out of the 617 villages commissioned upto November 2011 under SWAP mode for PRWSS Project, O&M of Water Supply Schemes in 395 villages has become self sustainable. Out of these 395 villages, households in 152 villages have procured 100% water connections. As of now, 11 Water Supply Schemes are being operated on 24×7 basis, through metered water supply system. Similarly under ARP SWAP, out of the 1332 villages commissioned upto November 2011, O&M of Water Supply Schemes in 526 villages have become self sustainable. Out of these 526 villages, households in 39 villages have procured 100% water connections, he added.
It may be mentioned here that besides Government of India, the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Manipur, Goa, Gujrat, J&K, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, West Bengal & Assam were also participating in National workshop. In addition representatives from Public Health Engineering Department Bangladesh, WB office Dhaka, WB Head Quarter Washington, WB office India, WHO, Water Aid & IRC Netherlands were presenting their papers in the workshop. In the first technical session, Mr. Dinesh Chand from Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation made a detailed presentation on ‘ Sustainable operations of Water Supply & Sanitation Sevices in India’.

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