Drinking water still a distant dream for Kaithal villages

KAITHAL: When the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, had in 2012, sanctioned a pilot project for the Kaithal block to improve its “overexploited” groundwater, all 62 villages in the block hoped good days ahead.

Drinking water still a distant dream for Kaithal villages

Kaithal Deputy Commissioner KM Pandurang presides over a drinking water committee meeting on Monday. Tribune Photo

Parvesh Sharma

Tribune News Service

Kaithal, December 30

When the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, had in 2012, sanctioned a pilot project for the Kaithal block to improve its “overexploited” groundwater, all 62 villages in the block hoped good days ahead.

But villagers’ hope is fading fast, as the Public Health Department has not completed the second phase of preparing security plans for each village. The deadline for the project’s launch is January 2015.

Under the National Drinking Water Security Pilot Project, the government wants to control the wastage of groundwater and improve the water recharging system by improving the condition of village ponds and other sources of water recharging with the involvement of panchayat and other social organisations.

To achieve drinking water security in overexploited cities of the country, the Centre had launched the project in 15 blocks of 10 states, including Kaithal in Haryana. The project has been divided into four phases.

Sources said more than two-and-a-half years after the project was sanctioned, the health authorities had not completed the second phase. So far, security plans for only 13 villages have been approved, while a list of 14 more villages will be sent for approval in a day or two.

After the preparation of security plans of all villages, the department will prepare a detailed project report and send it for approval to get the budget sanctioned. All this is likely to take several months.

“The deadline is January 2015. We have been working overtime and will complete all phases before the deadline. The project has been delayed because of lack of funds,” said Ashok Khanduja, Executive Engineer, Public Health Department.

Kaithal Deputy Commissioner (DC) KM Pandurang, who presided over a drinking water committee meeting on Monday, said he had directed the authorities concerned to launch the project soon.

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