Several projects and works, worth Rs. 670 crore, have been launched or will be launched soon, with the aim of providing drinking water to every Girijan habitat, Minister for Tribal Welfare P. Balaraju said here on Saturday.

This was in tune with the State Cabinet's decision that all STs and SCs should be provided drinking water, Mr. Balaraju said at a press conference he addressed along with Engineer-in-Chief (rural water supply) B. Rajeswara Rao, and Superintending Engineer (RWS) B. Sampada Rao, after making a review.

There was no dearth of funds for drinking water works and projects which were funded by the State Government, the National Rural Water Development Programme, the World Bank, and the 13th Finance Commission. And the problem of vacancies at the middle and lower levels and providing basic infrastructure and transport of men and material have also been addressed to, the Minster said.

He informed that Rs. 210 crore worth works have been sanctioned under the State and NRDWP funds for major projects in Kanemiri area in Adilabad district with the Komaram Bheem reservoir as the source (Rs. 68 crore), Mulug in Warangal (Rs. 25 crore), Rampachodavaram in East Godavari (Rs. 14 crore), Pinapaka in Khammam (Rs. 10 crore), Paderu and Araku in Visakhapatnam (Rs. 14 crore), Seethampeta in Srikakulam (Rs. 3 crore) while Rs. 120 crore were sanctioned for normal works.

Works worth Rs. 250 crore by the 13th Finance Commission would commence soon in different districts. They might be completed well before the three-year time limit.

Special programmes

Mr. Balaraju said special programmes with World Bank aid in the tribal areas of Visakhapatnam and Adilabad have been cleared.

Vacancies in RWS would be filled up within two months and a meeting of Project Officers of the ITDAs and officers of the Tribal Welfare and RWS departments would be held soon on this issue.

Mr. Rajeswara Rao said that Rs. 10 crore were ready in every district to take up immediate works to tide over the summer. In Visakhapatnam, Rs. 1.10 crore were sanctioned for the summer action plan.

Regarding the major RWS works and projects in the district, Mr. Balaraju said works worth Rs. 30 crore were taken up under NRDWP and Rs.100 crore worth of works under the World Bank programme. Scheduled areas in plain mandals would also be covered under RWS programmes for Girijans, he added.

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