BANGALORE: Due to lack of administrative oversight of the department of Rural Development and the Panchayat Raj (RDPR) around 79 villages in four districts were deprived of drinking water. The state government spent over Rs 38 crore for this purpose. According to official sources, the engineering divisions of RDPR including that of Belgaum, Bhagalkot, Chikkodi and Chickmagalur division accorded administrative and technical sanction for nine water supply schemes to provide drinking water to over 79 villages in four districts without ensuring availability of land and the necessary sanction from the forest department.
The cost of water schemes under the submission project of Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission was shared in the ratio of 75 and 25 per cent between the Union and state governments respectively.
The RDPR cleared the technical sanction after obtaining necessary approvals from the state government in 2009 on the basis of the project consultants’ suggestion of procuring forest clearance from the Centre.
The state government went ahead with the project without the clearance from the Union ministry of Forest and Environment.
According to official sources an acquisition of 5.88 hectares was required for executing the nine drinking water schemes. The work that was to be completed by August 2010 is not over yet.
Official sources informed Express the expenditure incurred ranged from 59 to 99 per cent of the tendered amount.
The villagers of Sirur and four other villages in Bagalkot taluk, 31 villages in Badami taluk, five villages in Mudhol, Yelahatti and four villages in Jamakhandi, Basapur and 11 villages in Hukkeri taluk, nine villages in Ramadurg taluk and eight villages in Tarikere taluk await the completion of the project.
Agricultue Minister Umesh V Katti, informed Express the drinking water project in Basapur and 11 other villages will be resumed once the forest clearance is received.
Admitting the work started before getting the forest clearance, the minister said it was done with an assumption that there shall be no impediment in getting necessary sanctions for these projects.
BJP’ s Badami legislator informed Express the Union Forest and Environment Ministry cleared the Katageri drinking water project. However necessary sanctions for the water projects in Belur and another 11 adjoining villages need to be accorded.