ITANAGAR, Mar 22: Arunachal Pradesh PHE&WS Minister Bamang Felix on Wednesday drew the attention of the Centre over the pending issues of the state pertaining to PHE, water supply and sanitation.
Speaking at the national conference on Water Supply and Sanitation in New Delhi, Felix apprised the Centre over a few landmark initiatives taken by the state government under the Chief Minister Pema Khandu, an official report informed.
Felix said that all-out effort was being made to bring a catchment area policy to secure and preserve the source of water in the state. He categorically sought the Centre’s support in realizing this plan of the state government.
He further disclosed that the chief minister had been very particular over performance and has sought performance report from every department on quarterly basis for ensuring real time progress in each sphere.
“Accordingly, necessary instructions have been passed to the department officers to ensure quality and quantity work in given time frame” the minister said.
“As per the approved data base, the state has 7,577 rural habitations. Of these, a very large chunk of 4,696 habitations are partially covered in terms of drinking water with about 2000 habitations under critical coverage category,” Felix pointed out.
“With many habitations in the state being located along the international boundary with China, Myanmar and Bhutan, surrounded by harsh terrains, unsupportive climatic conditions and serious communication bottlenecks, implementation of the programmes and the schemes in the state is a huge challenge. Added to it is the higher cost parameters in terms of labour and material costs due to high mechanical and head load transportation involved to reach the work sites” the minister pointed out.
He, however, assured that despite constraints, the state with its limited internal resources was trying its best to fulfill the vision of Prime Minister of providing safe drinking water to all by 2022.
Taking the opportunity, Felix put forth few genuine demands of the state government for continued effort from the Ministry to enhance the allocation under National Rural Drinking Water Project (NRDWP) from NITI Aayog/Finance Ministry in view of large number of habitations remaining uncovered throughout the country.
“If swachh status has to be achieved in actual sense, water sector needs to be given as much priority as sanitation,” he reasoned.
He further sought enhanced weightage of funding for ST category. Inclusion of cost disability factor as an additional weightage for distribution of funds under NRDWP to states vis a vis habitations in hill areas where there are no road connectivity and where there is involvement of considerable head load for carrying construction materials.
Felix also requested for continued & enhanced support from the Ministry under Water Quality Monitoring & Surveillance programme.
He informed that under Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan Mission the state government has covered 84.05 per cent of Individual Household Latrines (IHHL), 34.62 per cent of Community Sanitary Complexes (CSC) and 9.08 per cent of Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) component.
“In regards to the IHHL, the state government is supplementing an amount of Rs 8000.00 per unit in addition to Rs 12000 central share, to build better quality latrines with total investment of Rs 20000 per unit combining Centre’s and State’s contributions,” he added.
“Efforts are on in war footing manner to make Arunachal Pradesh Open Defecation Free State,” Felix confidently said.
Felix was accompanied by officers from state department of Water Supply and Sanitation during the conference which was organised by the Union Ministry of Water Supply and chaired by Union Minister, Drinking Water & Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar to commemorate the “the World Water Day”.
Minister of State for Water Supply and Sanitation, Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagiji, CEO Niti Aayog – Amitabh Kant, PHE and Water Supply Ministers from 18 states of the country, union secretary WS and Sanitation, officers from states were also present, the report added.