PHE plans to provide drinking water to drought prone areas
A financial assistance from Asian Development Bank (ADB) is expected for the project. The External Affairs ministry is examining the documents submitted by the department and the clearance is likely to come towards end of this month. Senior officials of PHE held a meeting with their counterparts in Delhi on Tuesday.
The PHE has also been preparing a plan to supply filtered water in arsenic-hit areas. The Centre is likely to provide Rs 1,000 crore for the purpose. It may be mentioned that the department has taken a Rs 8,000 crore plan to provide drinking water in the rural areas in the state. All the water supply projects are likely to be commissioned by 2018.
Under the ADB project, water supply project will be set up for Bankura district on a priority basis. Fourteen blocks in the district are getting water under the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF). The remaining four blocks would be covered under the project.
It may be recalled that after coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee laid special emphasis to supply drinking water in the drought torn areas of Purulia and Bankura.
In Purulia, water supply scheme is coming on at an estimated cost of Rs 1,173 crore. Subrata Mukherjee, state PHE minister has asked the department to find out ways and means so that water from river and water reservoirs can be filtered and used for drinking.
Schemes have also been prepared to supply drinking water in the Arsenic hit areas of North 24 Parganas. To combat the situation, the department has installed over 200 Arsenic free water ATMs, mostly in schools. The Arsenic belt in Malda will get piped water soon. Under the scheme, drinking water will be supplied to the remote areas of Siliguri district.
Senior officials of the department said if things go as per planned almost every village in West Bengal would be brought under drinking water coverage.
It may be mentioned that PHE has also taken up a scheme to supply drinking water in Joygaon, at the Indo – Bhutan border in Alipurduar district at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore. Unfiltered water will be lifted from river Torsha then purified and supplied through pipeline.