Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) : The target to provide potable piped water connections to all 35 lakh rural households will be achieved by March, 2022 under the Jal Jiwan Mission, said the Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Ms. Razia Sultana, claiming that 66% of these households have already been covered by December, 2020.
Addressing a press conference here at Punjab Bhawan on Friday, She said that despite the COVID situation, Water Supply & Sanitation Department has provided the potable piped water supply in three districts SAS Nagar, SBS Nagar and Roopnagar, besides accomplishing the 100% piped water supply target in 14 blocks and 4608 villages.
Punjab took a lead across the country in providing potable piped water supply in all the private and government schools in rural Punjab with the help of the Education Department. Apart from this, a fund to tune of Rs.11 crore has been released by the Water Supply Department to the Education Department for construction of toilets in rural schools. Similarly, 709 rural water supply schemes have been completed at a cost of Rs.124crore during 2020.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab government was committed to cover all rural households with potable piped water connections, said Ms. Razia Sultana, adding that water treatment plants are being setting up where water quality was impacted. 11 water treatment projects are being setting up in Moga, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur. These projects would benefit 1103 villages at a cost of Rs.1249 crore. Similarly, which villages could not be covered under canal based water supply, to provide them potable water supply, the department is installing Arsenic and Iron Removal Plants/ Individual Household Units/RO Plants in villages of Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Patiala, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, SBS Nagar and Gurdaspur at a cost of Rs.80crore.
She said that a high level laboratory has been set up at the state level in SAS Nagar to test the water quality besides multi district laboratories are already functioning in two districts Patiala and SAS Nagar. Further, a new Multipurpose Laboratory has been set up at Amritsar in September 2020 and more such laboratories would come up in three districts Hoshiarpur, Moga and Sangrur by March 2021. In addition, 24 Sub-District Laboratories are already functioning in Punjab, she added.
Disclosing this here today the Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation said that under the Rural Sanitation Program 100% rural households in the state have been provided the facility of private toilets. Apart from this, the department in association with the Rural Development and Panchayat Department has released a total amount of Rs 3.32 crore for solid waste management in 81 gram panchayats in the state and a total of Rs. 21 crore to 904 panchayats for liquid waste management, she informed.
Ms. Razia Sultana further added that apart from the departmental services, the Water Supply and Sanitation Department has carried out many other exceptional works during the COVID pandemic. She said that while reviving the project of Medical Gas Pipeline at Medical College Amritsar, an immediate provision of oxygen was made for the 200-bedded COVID ward. In addition, special laundry and firefighting equipment was provided to the patients, said she, added in the newly established COVID Testing Lab at Medical College, Patiala, the management of public health facilities was completed by the department in a short span of time.
Ms. Razia Sultana told that for the convenience of the people, late payment of water bills during lockdown was waived for three months from surcharge and penalty.
OTHER IMPORTANT WORKS TO BE STARTED IN 2021
The Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation said that four projects of canal based water were being started in Fazilka, Ferozepur and Hoshiarpur. She said these projects will benefit 610 villages and the total cost of the projects is Rs.1249 crore. She said that apart from canal based projects, works of 586 schemes costing Rs.190 crore have been allotted in the state which would be completed this year.
Besides, 1192 schemes at a cost of Rs. 317 crore have been approved and works on these schemes is also expected to be completed this year. She also said that in order to maintain the open defecation Free State of the state in the year 2021, under the Swachh Bharat Mission Phase II, the department was aiming to complete the solid and liquid waste management in seven blocks in collaboration with the Rural Development and Panchayat Department.
The Minister said that during 2021 the sewerage scheme of Anandpur Sahib City would be upgraded at a cost of Rs.7.69 crore. The first phase of renovation of Faridkot City Water Supply Scheme which was set up in 1974 at a cost of Rs. 8 crore would be started this year.