Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 19:
In view of the acute drinking water crisis and prevailing heat wave in the state, the Odisha government today announced to provide free drinking water to the poor in all urban areas.
An amount of Rs 40 crore has been earmarked for the purpose apart from Rs 25 crore to be provided by the office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC).
The decision to provide free drinking water to the poor in urban areas across the state was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the state secretariat here today.
“Poor people in all urban areas will be provided with free drinking water. Rs 40 crore will be spent on this account. In addition to that SRC’s office will provide Rs 25 crore for drinking water supply. Wherever required water will be provided through tankers. It has been decided to sink a tube well in each of the 27,711 areas which are partially connected to the drinking water supply system. The government will be spending around Rs 195 crore on this account,” said Pradipta Mohapatra, SRC briefing reporters after the meeting.
Similarly, in the rural areas all panchayats have been directed to spend 30% of the panchayat funds towards piped water supply.
“All panchayats have been issued with directions to utilize 30% of their funds towards piped water supply. We are receiving complaints on a daily basis through ‘Sanjog Helpline’. Accordingly efforts are being taken for redressal,” stated Mohapatra.
The SRC informed that leave of all employees of the Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO have been cancelled till a fall in temperature.
Among others Rural Development and Housing & Urban Development Ministers, chief secretary, development commissioner and director of the Regional Met office here were present in the meeting.