80% Central funds spent, still no water in 78% targeted households in rural Assam, maximum leakage during Gautam Roy’s tenure
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 24: At a time when Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is talking big about development works undertaken by his government in Assam, many rural households in the State are yet to get pure drinking water supply.
Sources said despite receiving funds from the Central government under the tiol Rural Drinking Water Programme and spending large amounts by the State government for the purpose in regular intervals, people in villages throughout the State are yet to be benefitted by the programme. The main objective of the programme is to provide pure drinking water to millions of rural households in the country.
A report recently released by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation stated: “Of the Rs 592.57 crore received from the Central government as on December 2014 under the tiol Rural Drinking Water Programme, the State government spent Rs 478.23 crore, which is 80.7 per cent of the available fund. With this amount, 3,591 habitations were to be covered by the PHE department of the State but only 794 habitations were covered, which was 22.11 per cent of the total target areas.” “With the coverage of only 794 habitations under the tiol Rural Drinking Water Programme, around 2,90,812 people were benefited, which was 21.82 per cent of the total coverage of people. Had the 3,591 habitations been covered, around 13,32,814 people would have been benefited,” the report stated. According to sources, the earlier PHE minister Gautam Roy is to be primarily blamed for the shameful failure in meeting targets to provide pure drinking water to rural households. Instead of implementing genuine works during his tenure, a section of officials of the PHE department allegedly indulged in rampant corruption and commission raj.