TS reiterates request for financial assistance to Mission Bhagiratha

Errabelli Dayakar Rao  

The State government has reiterated its request to the Central government to extend liberal assistance to Mission Bhagiratha, the flagship programme aimed at providing safe drinking water to all households in the State.

Though the NITI Ayog recommended grant of ₹15,000 crore to the prestigious project, the Centre remained unmoved and did not extend any support to the State. The Central government was, however, extending adequate financial assistance to States like Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh where the works on projects conceived on the lines of Mission Bhagiratha are still in the preliminary stages.

Panchayat Raj Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao lamented that several representations made by the State government to extend assistance to the project which received appreciation from the Centre as well as other States went in vain. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao personally requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend financial assistance to the project while he (Mr. Dayakar Rao) submitted several representations to the Ministries concerned.

The Minister held a review meeting of Mission Bhagiratha project with senior officials on Wednesday. CMO Secretary Smitha Sabharwal and senior officials were present. The Minister launched Mission Bhagiratha brand water bottles which would forthwith be supplied to all government offices.

Mission Bhagiratha was launched with an estimated cost of ₹26,123 crore, but the government was likely to save ₹8,000 crore going by the pace at which the works were progressing, As many as 71.61 lakh households in 23,968 villages and 120 municipalities/municipal corporations spread over 99 Assembly constituencies were targeted to be covered under the scheme. Of these, 55.59 lakh houses were in the rural areas and another 16.02 lakh in the urban areas.

The government had so far spent ₹29,000 crore on the project and most parts of the State were covered through the supply of safe drinking water without imposing any additional burden on the end users. Each household used to spend an average ₹300 a month totaling to ₹1,800 crore a year for purchase of water from the RO plants.

Several States deputed official delegations to study the implementation of Mission Bhagiratha and West Bengal had recently launched Jal Swapna, a project on the lines of Mission Bhagiratha, with an estimated ₹56,000 crore. The Central government drew inspiration from Mission Bhagiratha to launch the Jal Jivan Mission envisaging coverage of 84.83 crore households in rural areas under the safe drinking water supply.

The Centre had targeted 45 lakh water connections in five districts of five States during 2020-21 in the first phase of Jal Jivan Mission while Telangana was giving water through Mission Bhagiratha to a major chunk of population. Works on connecting 126 habitations located in forest and interior areas had also commenced.

Ms. Smitha Sabharwal said the Central government had certified that works on Mission Bhagiratha were completed and the State government had succeeded in providing safe drinking water to over 56 lakh households. She complimented the officials from the rank of engineer-in-chief to assistant engineers on the field for their contribution in making the project a success.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 7:07:33 AM |

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