NEW DELHI

Water supply schemes for arid areas

JAIPUR MARCH 29. The Rajasthan Government will soon formulate water supply schemes in the scarcity-hit areas of the State by utilising surface and rain water. The Government hopes to save the groundwater significantly by encouraging the use of surface and rain waters.

Stating this in the Assembly early this week during the debate on the demand for supplementary grants for 2001-2002, the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) Minister, Ram Singh Bishnoi, said a dozen water supply schemes -- mainly in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bharatpur and Dholpur -- were currently in operation, while the Centre's sector reform scheme had been implemented in four districts.

He called for people's participation in the drive to supply water to remote areas to make the scheme a resounding success. Despite several odds, the State Government had made extensive arrangements on water supply, he added.

In view of the depleting ground water table in Nagaur, a "Jalotthan Yojana'' will shortly be launched in that district. Similarly, special schemes would be sanctioned for Jalore, Barmer and Sawai Madhopur before June this year, Mr. Bishnoi said.

The State Government has also decided to construct huge water tanks in all villages with a population of 4,000 or more. Moreover, the tanks, pipelines, machines and power connections would be handed over for management to the residents of villages with a population of 1,500 or more.

At present, all the 222 towns, 37,603 of the 37,889 villages and 49,852 hamlets in the State have been benefited by drinking waters. During 2002-2003, the benefit would be extended to over 11,000 villages and hamlets.

Schemes worth Rs. 533.35 crores under the Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission have been sanctioned for 2983 fluoride- affected villages and hamlets. As many as 675 villages have already been benefited.

As part of the revival of conventional water sources, 13,087 wells and ponds have been renovated. During the "Prashasan Gaon Ke Sang'' campaign, over 34,000 cases relating to repair of handpumps and drinking water were disposed of. The Government has also formulated a contingency plan for summer to maintain adequate supply of drinking water.

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