The State government has set November 30 as the deadline to complete the process of identification of 52.58 lakh families living below poverty line (BPL) in the State for the purpose of providing protected water supply to them.

A government order, issued by the Municipal Administration and Water Supply (MAWS) Department about 10 days ago, directed Managing Directors of Chennai Metrowater and the TWAD Board to complete the process by November 30 and decide on various issues, including the methodology of providing house service connections or public fountains, the cost of the entire programme and funding options.

While the compilation of data has begun in Chennai, the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board has asked District Collectors to complete the process and provide the data within a month, according to officials.

The strength of BPL families has been mentioned in the GO, citing a survey. The identification covers the issue of ownership of homes by BPL families. Those who have houses will be given individual house service connections, while the homeless will be provided with public fountains in clusters. The plan is to provide 20 litres of purified drinking water each day to the BPL families.

This is in tune with the decision taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jayalailthaa in the second week of July. In August, the Chief Minister told the Assembly that her government would ensure drinking water for all localities in the State after making a survey of the requirement.

As per a timetable drawn up by the authorities, the programme is to be launched on January 15.

The projects that can be completed in a matter of two and a half months (March 31) are to be taken up.

The MDs of the two water agencies have also been advised to take their decisions in consultation with the Commissioners of Municipal Administration, Chennai Corporation and Rural Development besides Director of Town Panchayats.

Besides, they are required to prioritise areas to be covered for the next five years and send proposals to the government for administrative sanction before December 15. In respect of the schemes to be carried out during the current financial year, proposals have to be sent to the government before December 10, according to the government order.

Also, through the MAWS Department's another order, the government directed the Chennai Corporation Commissioner and the Town Panchayats Director to select sites throughout the State by November 15 for the construction of toilets as part of the government's decision to overcome the problem of open defecation in four years.