Andhra Pradesh

Sujala Sravanthi to quench thirst in parched villages

Telugu Desam government is all set to expand its NTR Sujala Sravanthi scheme for providing bottled water to every household in villages with no adequate potable drinking water source.

The scheme to fulfil one of the key election promises of Telugu Desam Party to provide 20 litres of bottled water at Rs.2 for each house through community water treatment plants was launched last year by involving NGOs and interested individuals and groups to serve 1,250 villages.

This year priority will be given to set up the reverse osmosis units in 1,180 villages/habitations along the coast line facing sea water ingression in nine districts.

The units to be installed in such villages would cost more due to the poor ground water quality but it would be economical than water transportation by tankers, sources said.

The objective is to supply bottled water to every habitation with 300 to 400 households and water treatment unit would cost about Rs.4 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh, they added.

At present government was spending about Rs.94 crore on water transportation, particularly in the parched districts of Rayalaseema particularly Chittoor, Anantapur and Kadapa districts.

Sources said after one year of implementing the Sujala Sravanthi scheme, awareness has spread and more NGOs and corporate companies have come forward to set up water treatment units in half of the 1,080 villages either using reverse osmosis or other suitable technology depending on the quality of ground water.

While corporate companies, who would set up the Reverse Osmosis units to supply bottled water under corporate social responsibility, would also get tax exemption, in other areas where donors were not available, government would fund the cost of machine, a shed for the unit and lay the pipelines and hand them over to the interested unemployed youth, SHG groups to run the units. The government made a budgetary allocation of Rs.25 crore for the Sujala Sravanthi scheme this year.

Meanwhile, government sources said unless each water treatment plant sold about 200 bottled water pieces a day, it would not be viable for those operating them. To begin with the off-take was about 30 to 40 bottled water pieces and it now touched 120 units a day. But over the last year, as people in rural areas got accustomed to bottled water, the demand has been going up.

Of 13,000 gram panchayats in the State, NGOs and corporate companies were already functioning in 3,000 habitations even before the government launched the scheme.




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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 11:54:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/sujala-sravanthi-to-quench-thirst-in-parched-villages/article7066671.ece

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