: Expressing happiness over the Union government’s decision to emulate the Gadag cooperative model of providing purified drinking water at 10 paise a litre, the former Minister and Congress leader H.K. Patil said here on Saturday that providing such water had become part of the Congress’ election manifesto.
Addressing presspersons here on Saturday, Mr. Patil, who is part of the initiative of providing purified drinking water in rural areas which is being implemented through K.H. Patil Foundation and Rural Medical Service Society of Gadag, said that Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had set aside Rs. 1,400 crore for the purpose in the budget.
Mr. Patil said the credit in this regard should go to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who, he said, had sent a team of National Advisory Council (NAC) to Gadag to study the model.
Mr. Patil said that subsequent to the visit of the NAC team, he was called to make a presentation on the concept of providing purified drinking water at affordable cost at the ‘National Consultation with States on Rural Drinking Water’.
The former Minister said that KPCC president G. Parameshwara had already included the subject in the party’s manifesto and leaders would make efforts to get the scheme implemented wherever the party came to power. “It would be our priority to provide clean drinking water to the people by setting up a facility close to them,” he said.
To a question, Mr. Patil said that as per the concept paper he presented before representatives of the Union government, it had been suggested to implement the scheme through local bodies or through cooperative societies. “If that is not possible, then efforts could be made to rope in credible non-governmental organisations,” he said.
To another query, he said that through the initiative already as many as 100 purified drinking water units had been set up in various districts and mainly in rural areas where there was a problem of getting potable drinking water.