- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation of 23 rural drinking water schemes in Sonbhadra and Mirzapur districts of Vindhyachal region of Uttar Pradesh via video link and praised the state BJP government for continuing with development work despite the Covid pandemic.
- “Despite the pandemic, this (rural drinking water) scheme will ensure that the road to development is not affected. Uttar Pradesh is also an example… As compared to the perception of Uttar Pradesh earlier and the predictions made, the way in which projects are getting implemented one after the other, the image of the UP government and its officials is changing completely,” the PM said, praising Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
- “The way coronavirusis being fought in UP… Migrant labourers were given employment, they were taken care. This is not an ordinary job that in such a big state, so many things are being done on all the fronts. UP has done kamaal (wonders). I would like to congratulate the people of UP, its government, and Yogiji’s team,” Modi said.
- He also praised Adityanath for bringing down encephalitis cases and said the success of the state government in containing the disease is being discussed far and wide. “For saving lives of innocent children, each and every citizen of UP is blessing the entire team of Yogi Aditynath,” Modi said.
- The PM said that despite resources, the regions of Vidhyachal and Bundelkhand became deprived of development work for long and invoked poet Rahimdas.
- “Poet Rahimdas had said ‘jaa par vipadaa parat hai, so aavat yehi desh’ (a person facing difficulty comes to this place). The reason for this belief was the abundant resources and possibilities present here… For decades after Independence, if any area had fallen prey to neglect, then it was this area. Be it Vindhyachal or Bundelkhand, this entire area despite having resources became an area of scarcity. Despite so many rivers, this area was identified as the most thirsty and drought-affected area. This was the reason, which forced many people to migrate from here,” he said.
- Stating that Rs 5,555 crore worth ‘Har Ghar Nal Yojna’ (tap water to every household) would benefit around 40 lakh people in over 3,000 villages of the region, Modi said the project would give impetus to the initiative to ensure drinking water to each and every household. “I could see you all from here and it seems like a major festival for you all where you have dressed up. This shows the excitement and zeal. This in itself shows how important this scheme is for you all. How important water is… When you have joined in such large numbers and with excitement and zeal, this scheme will finish before the estimated time… When people participate, the result is huge,” he said.
- Modi said that it has been a year since the scheme to ensure drinking water to each house was started. “In the last one year, more than 2.60 crore households have been provided drinking water. Out of them, lakhs of families belong to UP. We are working continuously to give city-like facilities in villages. Under the Atal Bhujal Yojana, work is being done to improve the water level which will also benefit the region,” Modi said.
- “The Jal Jeevan Mission is also part of the government’s resolve where the power of independence is being made a medium for the development of the village. With this thinking, the gram panchayat and local institutes are being given more and more power,” said the PM.
- “The aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) village is essential for aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) India,” said Modi.
- The PM0 also interacted with some beneficiaries of the scheme and asked them about their well being. He asked them if the information regarding the piped water scheme has reached the villages and what they think about it.
- “Our mothers and sisters understand the importance of water the most. When I was the CM of Gujarat, our Kutch region is a desert and faces problems like Vindhyachal and Bundelkhand region. We formed committees of women and gave them work. They did such a good job… They got an award too. Hence, I feel that if women are aware, then work-related to water will be good and it will be saved too,” said the PM while speaking to Phoolvati from Gurmura (Sonbhadra). Due to technical issues, the PM stopped his interaction with people from the two districts.
- Among those who attended the event from Sonbhadra were Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, UP Jal Shakti Minister Mahendra Singh.
- While speaking from Sonbhadra, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that a total of 23 piped drinking water schemes were inaugurated by the PM. “Nine schemes are for Mirzapur, while 14 are for Sonbhadra district. A total of 1,606 villages of Mirzapur, and 1,389 villages of Sonbhadra. A total of 2,995 villages will benefit from the scheme. More than Rs 5,555 crore will be invested in the schemes. In 10 years, the work for the schemes will be completed… More than 41 lakh people will benefit from the initiative,” said Adityanath.
- “Clean drinking water means end of diseases. If you leave out genetic diseases, then all kinds of diseases can be stopped forever. The most important role of is of two things — cleanliness and pure drinking water,” said Adityanath and claimed that such a big scheme had never been implemented in the region in the past.
PM remembers Sonelal Patel
- Lucknow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered Sonelal Patel, the founder of the Apna Dal and father of Anupriya Patel, MP from Mirzapur. Anupriya’s party Apna Dal (Sonelal) is an alliance partner of the BJP. “Today, when I speak to people of this area, it is very natural that I remember my old friend Sonelal Patel. He was very concerned about water scarcity in this area. Seeing the starting of these schemes, his soul today will feel satisfied,” PM said. ENS
Solutions to drinking water crisis in India: water atms
- Recently Safe Water Network has released a report suggesting safe water enterprise as a solution to providing drinking water in Indian cities.
Small Water Enterprise
- Small water enterprises such as water ATMs and community purification plants can prove to be an alternative solution to the safe drinking water challenge. Mostly in urban slums where piped water infrastructure is difficult to build, and in rural areas with contaminated water sources.
- According to government data, to reach the government’s Har Ghar Jal target of 100% piped water by 2030, almost Rs. 5 lakh crore of infrastructure investment will be required.
- A new report by Safe Water Network (SWN) says the government can provide safe drinking water to about 37 crore people by spending ₹44,000 crore on 2.2 lakh small water enterprises which is less than 10% of project cost.
- The water ATM is a dispensation system, which can be automatic with a coin or smart card, or manual.
Community Purification Plant
- Unlike a household Reverse Osmosis System, the community purification plants treat water locally and provide clean drinking water to residents.
According to data from the World Bank:
- 163 Million Indians lack access to safe drinking water
- 210 Million Indians lack access to improved sanitation
- 21% of communicable diseases are linked to unsafe water
- 500 children under the age of five die from diarrhea each day in India
- India ranks a dismal 120 out of 122 nations for its water quality index and 133rd out of 180 nations for its water availability.
- Nearly 75% of India’s surface water is contaminated by human, animal, agricultural and industrial waste, and its groundwater often contain high levels of fluoride and other mineral contaminants.
- A recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) pointed out that only 18% of the rural population has access to potable piped water, failing to meet the 2017 target of 50%.
- The Asian Development Bank has forecast that by 2030, India will have a water deficit of 50 percent.
- Water supply in India has two principal sources, water from rivers and groundwater. Both the rivers and groundwater sources are shrinking mainly because of pollution, overpopulation, and industrialization.
National Rural Drinking Water Program (NRDWP)
- The National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) was launched in April 2009 by modifying the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) and subsuming earlier sub-missions/schemes.
- The objective of the Programme is to provide safe and adequate water for drinking, cooking and other domestic needs to every rural person on a sustainable basis.
- NRDWP is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with 50:50 funds sharing between the Centre and the States.
- A sub-programme under NRDWP called National Water Quality Sub-Mission (NWQSM) has been started by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in February 2017 to address the urgent need for providing clean drinking water in about 28000 Arsenic & Fluoride affected habitations.
- The NWQSM aims to cover all rural population in Arsenic/Fluoride affected habitations with clean drinking water on a sustainable basis by March 2021.