Drinking water for all, resource conservation tagged as core goals: Sham Choudhary


Rolling out the counters for improvement of public services and meeting infrastructural gaps in the sectors under his control, the Minister for Public Health Engineering (PHE), Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC), Sham Lal Choudhary Tuesday informed Legislative Assembly that the government has set three major goals of providing safe drinking water to every soul, harness and conserve water resources for agriculture, hydropower and other uses and to protect life, land and property from floods.

To achieve drinking water for all, the Minister said that the government has set a target of completing 183 Water Supply Schemes involving Rs 306.26 crore during the year 2017-18.

He said Rs 174.90 crore has been incurred so far, adding that these WSSs will cover 355 habitations, benefiting around 2.29 lakh souls of the State.

Winding up the discussion on Demand for Grants of PHE, I&FC departments in the Legislative Assembly, the Minister said that the Government is making all-out efforts for creating dependable infrastructures to improve and augment the PHE and I&FC services.

Regarding augmentation of water supply in urban areas, the Minister said that to meet shortfall and future demand of drinking water supply to Srinagar City, 2 schemes were taken up under Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) costing Rs. 269.37 crore. “One scheme named “WSS Sukhnag” has since been commissioned and 10 MGD water added to the Srinagar City while as WSS Tangnar has been presently supplying drinking water to 2.90 lakh souls of the parts of Chadoora, Sonawar, Pampore, Amirakadal & Batamaloo Constituencies” he maintained.

The Minister said that 86 schemes at an estimated cost of Rs 335.30 crore are being executed from LIC loan assistance under PHE sector to meet the water requirement in urban areas of the State.

The Minister said that an amount of Rs 26.09 crore against the cost of  Rs 53.15 crore have been expended so far on the execution of Naigarh WSS, Kishtwar under Special Task Force, adding that the scheme is targeted to be completed by ending December 2018.

The Minister said that  Union Ministry of Urban Development has launched ‘Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)’ for providing basic services including water supply, sewerage, urban transport to households and build amenities in cities which will improve the quality of life for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged section of the society. He said that Srinagar City, Anantnag Town, Leh Town and Kargil have been included in the programme.

Elaborating the achievements registered under financing of Urban projects under ADB funding through ERA, the Minister said that 21 new projects costing Rs. 1566.47 crore have been identified under Externally Aided Projects, to be funded through ERA in a phased manner to improve and enhance water supply in urban areas.

“WSS Sopore, costing Rs. 33.53 crore, taken up under UIDSSMT has been commissioned during the current fiscal and the scheme with source as Ningli Nallah has benefited 80, 000 souls in 21 wards of Sopore town,’ the Minister added.

The Minister said that 13 projects costing Rs. 22.16 crore is targeted to be completed under NABARD loan assistance during the year 2017-18, while 13 new schemes costing Rs. 36.12 crore has been submitted for NABARD funding. He further informed that Rs 14.22 crore Water Supply Scheme Tengam Tengbal executed under NABARD loan assistance has also been commissioned during this fiscal.

The Minister said to ensure the quality of water to the rural population, 22 District level laboratories at the district headquarters and 80 Divisional and Sub-Divisional labs have been established, adding that the work on the 2 State level labs one each at Jammu and Srinagar is nearing completion.

He said against Capex Budget allocation of Rs 425.22 crore for the year 2017-18, Rs 262.44 crore was made available and Rs 237.28 crore stands utilized so far.

Giving break up of allocation of funds under Capex Budget, the Minister said that Rs 50 crore were allocated under Regular Schemes, Rs 29.89 crore as LIC loan, Rs. 43.11 crore as NABARD loan, Rs 260 crore under CSS and Rs 42.22 crore as State Share for the CSS.

The Minister said that taking in consideration the fund constraints in PHE sector, the government in its Budget proposals for the next fiscal has enhanced the ceiling under NABARD to Rs 200 crore and provided additionality of Rs 50 crore for compensating the drastic cut in NRDWP allocations for completion of 53 schemes.

The Minister said that to take forward the drinking water augmentation programme, the Department has submitted a proposal for Central Share of Rs 211.16 crore during the current financial year against which the Union Ministry for Water Resources has released an amount of Rs.13.59 crore.

He further informed that the Union Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation has recently sanctioned an amount of Rs 79.20 crore to cover 77 habitations. He said 816 hand pumps have been installed to meet the drinking water requirement in water-stressed areas.

Giving details of major achievements in Irrigation and Flood Control sector, the Minister said that the dispute with Government of Punjab with regard to Construction of Shahpur Kandi Barrage including subsequent draw of water, power and employment has been resolved and a fresh agreement signed under the aegis of Union Ministry of Water Resources has been ratified by both the Governments.

The Minister said that flood protection works on Bonar & Madhumati Nallah has been taken up at an estimated cost of Rs. 134.87  to accommodate 58 cusecs of additional water from Kishenganga Hydro Electric Project and the funds for the project would be provided by the NHPC. He said that 71 works worth Rs. 101 crore have been taken up, of which  56 works have been completed and remaining are in advanced stage of completion. The funds amounting to Rs. 90 crore has been released by NHPC against which Rs. 54.03 crore stands utilized up to ending December 2017, he added.

The Minister said that the Union Government has declared 4 rivers namely Chenab, Indus, Jhelum and Ravi as National Waterways which would be developed in a phased manner. He said that the State Government is examining the feasibility cum Detailed Project Report of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) prepared for inland navigation and construction of horizontal/vertical terminals across these Waterways. The development of these national waterways will boost the Inland Water Transport, besides, exploit the tourism potential on the National Waterways of the State and improve the socio-economic profile of people of these areas.

The Minister said that under Rs 399.29 crore Comprehensive Flood Management Plan of river Jehlum, Phase-I, an amount of Rs. 177.20 crore has been utilized so far against the released amount of Rs 196.12 crore. He said that an amount of Rs 80.34 crore has been disbursed under land acquisition component adding 78.10 hectares land has been acquired against the target of 87.96 hectares. He said that against the target of 16.36 lac cumec, 10.478 lacs cumec material has been dredged out from river Jhelum so far. Similarly, the construction work on bridges at Shariefabad and Naidkhai is going on, he added.

“To take the project forward formulation of DPRs of Comprehensive Flood Management Plan of river Jehlum Phase-II worth Rs 1684.60 crore under PMDP has been entrusted to WAPCOS, an empanelled agency of Union Ministry of Water Resources and it has been directed to complete it within three months,” he maintained.

The Minister said that detailed Project Report amounting to Rs 195.71 crore for execution of protection works on vulnerable spots downstream Steel Bridge Akhnoor on the left & right banks of River Chenab stand submitted to Union Government for approval of funds, adding that State Government has released an amount of Rs 15 crore as State Share in the financial year 2016-17.

‘As many as 64 works amounting to Rs 30.84 crore have been taken up at the most vulnerable spots on the left and right banks of river Chenab in villages Sangrampur, Chak Sikander, Maira, Sitriwala, Indri, Gair, Bakore, Pangali, Garkhal, Sajwal and Gujral,” he added.

Giving further details of projects taken up under I&FC sectors, the Minister said that the Union Ministry of Water Resources has prioritized 4 projects namely Tral LIS, Rajpora LIS, Construction of Parkachik Khows canal and Mod of main Ravi Canal to be completed during 2018-19. During the current financial year, Rs 33.36 crore has been earmarked as Central Share for these projects against which Rs 9.56 crore has recently been received. Besides, an amount of Rs 16.91 crore has also been released as State Share against which Rs 12.09 crore stands utilized so far, he added.

The Minister said that as many as 419 schemes at an estimated cost of Rs 1319.52 crore were taken up Under Minor Irrigation Sector on which Rs 433.10 crore has been incurred so far, adding that a number of Rs 13.59 crore has recently been released by the concerned Ministry against the budget proposal of Central Share of Rs 211.16 crore submitted to Union Government.

The Minister said that the State Government has formulated a plan namely District Irrigation Plans (Minor Irrigation) of  Rs 14681.18 crore to give a boost to irrigation sector in the State for the period 2016-2021 and forwarded to Union Government for funding under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).

The Minister said that 28 protection and anti-erosion works of Rs. 511.75 crore were taken up for execution under Flood Management Programme during current fiscal against which an amount of Rs. 195.59 crore stands utilized on these projects, adding that an amount of Rs. 107.44 crore has been earmarked under the sector during the current financial year.

To meet future flood challenges in Jammu region, a project namely “Flood Protection to River Chenab” costing Rs. 2314 crore has been conceptualized and the DPR submitted to the Union Government for sanction under Flood Management Programme (FMP), the Minister added.

The Minister said that against the allocation of Rs 345.84 crore for the year 2017-18 under Capex Budget which includes Rs 38.49 crore under Regular Schemes, Rs 10.50 crore under NABARD loan, Rs 238.40 crore under AIBP/FMP and Rs 58.46 crore as State Share an amount of Rs 90.61 crore has been incurred so far against the availability of Rs. 180.83 crore.

Meanwhile, the Minister said that the department conducted tournaments, exhibition-cum-Mela, District Advocacy Workshops, Constituency-wise advocacy workshops and activities in educational institutions to sensitize people about the importance of preservation of water and its judicious use.

Later, the House passed the Grants of Rs 187708.95 lakh and Rs 207395.16 lakh for PHE and Irrigation & Flood Control Departments respectively for the year 2018-19.


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