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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Govt fast tracks, scales up UPA water security plan

Brajesh Kumar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 11, 2014
First Published: 19:09 IST(11/8/2014) | Last Updated: 19:17 IST(11/8/2014)

Providing access to safe drinking water is high on the NDA government's priority list, and now it has decided to put the water security pilot project launched by the UPA government in 2010 on a fast track.   

The original project aimed to achieve drinking water security in water scarce areas and cover 15 critical blocks with over-exploited ground water. It was scheduled for completion in three years, but has not made much of a progress.

The Modi government not only wants the pilot project to be wrapped up soon, it also wants to scale it up to all 1,065 critical blocks.  

"The government has set the target to provide drinking water to all by 2019, so certainly this project has to be expedited so that it can be replicated across the country," a government official said. 

The department of drinking water and sanitation, the nodal department for the implementation of the project, held a review meeting with the pilot states and pulled up those who had fared badly setting a deadline for completion of the project.

Some of the states pulled for faring badly are Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. These states according to officials in the ministry are the worst of the lot in terms of over-exploitation of ground water and even then have not done much in the direction of water security.   

The project envisages incorporating a sense of water rationing in villages according to its priority with the help of the district official and NGOs working in the area of water and sanitation.

The idea of the project is to plan use of water according to the available supply and then do the needful to recharge ground water. 

The 15 blocks chosen for the pilot project in 2010 include those from Rajasthan, UP, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujarat, Andra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka among others.


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