Drinking water for all, resource conservation tagged as core goals: Irrigation Minister 

183 new WSSs coming up in JK to cover 355 habitations, benefit over 2.29 lakh souls

Jammu: Rolling out the counters for improvement of public services and meeting infrastructural gaps in the sectors under his control, the Minister for Public Health Engineering (PHE), Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC), Sham Lal Choudhary on Tuesday informed Legislative Assembly that the government has set three major goals of providing safe drinking water to every soul, harness and conserve water resources for agriculture, hydropower and other uses and to protect life, land and property from floods.

To achieve drinking water for all, the Minister said that the government has set a target of completing 183 Water Supply Schemes involving Rs 306.26 crore during the year 2017-18.

He said Rs 174.90 crore has been incurred so far, adding that these WSSs will cover 355 habitations, benefiting around 2.29 lakh souls of the State.

Winding up the discussion on Demand for Grants of PHE, I&FC departments in the Legislative Assembly, the Minister said that the Government is making all out efforts for creating dependable infrastructures to improve and augment the PHE and I&FC services.

Regarding augmentation of water supply in urban areas, the Minister said that to meet shortfall and future demand of drinking water supply to Srinagar City, 2 schemes were taken up under Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) costing Rs. 269.37 crore. “One scheme named “WSS Sukhnag” has since been commissioned and 10 MGD water added to the Srinagar City while as WSS Tangnar has been presently supplying drinking water to 2.90 lakh souls of the parts of Chadoora, Sonawar, Pampore, Amirakadal & Batamaloo Constituencies” he maintained.

The Minister said that 86 schemes at an estimated cost of Rs 335.30 crore are being executed from LIC loan assistance under PHE sector to meet the water requirement in urban areas of the State.

The Minister said that an amount of Rs 26.09 crore against the cost of  Rs 53.15 crore  have been expended so far on  execution of Naigarh WSS, Kishtwar under Special Task Force, adding that   the scheme is targeted to be completed by ending December, 2018.

The Minister said that  Union Ministry of Urban Development has launched ‘Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)’ for providing basic services including water supply, sewerage, urban transport to households and build amenities in cities which will improve the quality of life for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged section of the society. He said that Srinagar City, Anantnag Town, Leh Town and Kargil have been included under the programme.

Elaborating the achievements registered under financing of Urban projects under ADB funding through ERA, the Minister said that 21 new projects costing Rs. 1566.47 crore have been identified under Externally Aided Projects, to be funded through ERA in a phased manner to improve and enhance water supply in urban areas.

“WSS Sopore, costing Rs. 33.53 crore, taken up under UIDSSMT has been commissioned during the current fiscal and the scheme with source as Ningli Nallah has benefited 80, 000 souls in 21 wards of Sopore town,’ the Minister added.

The Minister said that 13 projects costing Rs. 22.16 crore are targeted to be completed under NABARD loan assistance during the year 2017-18, while 13 new schemes costing Rs. 36.12 crore have been submitted for NABARD funding. He further informed that Rs 14.22 crore Water Supply Scheme Tengam Tengbal executed under NABARD loan assistance has also been commissioned during this fiscal.

The Minister said to ensure quality of water to the rural population, 22 District level laboratories at the district headquarters and 80 Divisional and Sub-Divisional labs have been established, adding that the work on the 2 State level labs one each at Jammu and Srinagar is nearing completion.

He said against Capex Budget allocation of Rs 425.22 crore for the year 2017-18, Rs 262.44 crore was made available and Rs 237.28 crore stands utilized so far.

Giving break up of allocation of funds under Capex Budget, the Minister said that Rs 50 crore were allocated under Regular Schemes, Rs 29.89 crore as LIC loan, Rs. 43.11 crore as NABARD loan, Rs 260 crore under CSS and Rs 42.22 crore as State Share for the CSS.

The Minister said that taking in consideration the fund constraints in PHE sector, the government in its Budget proposals for the next fiscal has enhanced the ceiling under NABARD to Rs 200 crore and provided additionality of Rs 50 crore for compensating the drastic cut in NRDWP allocations for completion of 53 schemes.

The Minister said that to take forward the drinking water augmentation programme, the Department has submitted a proposal for Central Share of Rs 211.16 crore during the current financial year against which the Union Ministry for Water Resources has released an amount of Rs.13.59 crore.

The Minister said that the Union Government has declared 4 rivers namely Chenab, Indus, Jhelum and Ravi as National Waterways which would be developed in a phased manner. He said that the State Government is examining the feasibility cum Detailed Project Report of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) prepared for inland navigation and construction of horizontal/vertical terminals across these Waterways. The development of these national waterways will boost the Inland Water Transport, besides, exploit the tourism potential on the National Waterways of the State and improve the socio- economic profile of people of these areas.

The Minister said that under Rs 399.29 crore Comprehensive Flood Management Plan of river Jehlum, Phase-I, an amount of Rs. 177.20 crore has been utilized so far against the released amount of Rs 196.12 crore. He said that an amount of Rs 80.34 crore has been disbursed under land acquisition component adding 78.10 hectares land has been acquired against the target of 87.96 hectares. He said that against the target of 16.36 lac cumec, 10.478 lacs cumec material has been dredged out from river Jhelum so far. Similarly, the construction work on bridges at Shariefabad and Naidkhai is going on, he added.

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