SAFE DRINKING WATER
GUWAHATI, July 1: The rural populace in Assam appears to be chasing a mirage insofar as potable water is concerned. Providing safe drinking water to rural populace in Assam still remains a far cry in Assam due to the tardy implementation of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).
According to official statistics, out of 2,620 ongoing schemes in Assam under the NRDWP, 1,243 schemes saw 100 per cent completion till March 31, 2018. The rest of the schemes are at various stages of implementation.
While 670 schemes are in the stage of implementation between 75 to 100 per cent followed by 160 schemes (between 50 to 75 per cent), 240 schemes (25 to 50 per cent), 232 (0-25 per cent), and zero per cent implementation in the case 54 schemes, the status of implementation of 21 schemes is not known.
Records have it that the Assam Government looks after implementation of the NRDWP and it selects beneficiaries too. Even though the Centre provides financial and technical assistance to implement the NRDWP, the Assam Government is solely responsible for the slow implementation of the project.
One of the prime objectives of the NRDWP is to provide safe piped drinking water to every rural household in the State. It aims to provide safe drinking water to the entire rural populace by 2030.
The picture becomes clearer when one checks the Niti Aayog’s report ‘Composite Water Management Index (CWMI Performance)’ released in June this year. Referring to Assam, it mentions that “only 60 per cent rural habitation have been fully covered, and there has been no improvement of water quality.”