The Punjab government will oppose the proposed amendment in the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) by the Centre as it will adversely affect the on-going drinking water supply schemes in over 9,000 villages in the state, a minister said in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
“The Centre has made up its mind to amend the NRDWP, which aimed at providing potable drinking water to the rural inhabitants. Once this amendment is through, this will adversely affect the ongoing drinking water supply schemes in over 9,000 villages of the state,” Razia Sultana, water supply and sanitation minister, said.
She said that with a view to chalking out futuristic strategy of the state, a high-level meeting of the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation was held.
Sultana said that under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, funds are being provided by the Centre to the states to supply drinking water to the rural areas.
She said to run this scheme, funds at the ratio of 50:50 per cent are being provided by the Centre and the concerned state government.
The Punjab government is ready to provide its share of 50 per cent but it appears that the Centre is shying away to provide its share, the minister said.
She said that as per the proposed amendment of the Union government, funds will now only be provided to such villages where consumption of drinking water is below 40 liter per capita per day (LPCD).
If the proposed amendment is effective, it will adversely affect the water supply scheme in more than 9,000 villages of the state, Sultana said.
These schemes may be halted midway because the consumption of drinking water is more than 40 liter per capita per day (LPCD), she said.
She said Punjab has borrowed whopping money from the World Bank and the National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development to supply drinking water to the villages.
The minister said that the Centre has convened the meeting on June 14 to take opinion of the concerned states on its proposed move to amend the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).
She said that she will personally attend this meeting and strongly oppose the Centre’s move to amend NRDWP. PTI