The State Government will provide financial assistance of Rs 97 crore for piped water supply to villages covered under the Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme (OTELP).
The financial assistance will be made over a period of three years and it will be ensured that all 1,048 villages covered under the programme have access to safe drinking water.
Under the World Bank funded OTELP programme, about 30,000 households in 695 villages have already been provided piped water. The remaining villages will be covered under the scheme in next three years, official sources said.
Apart from OTELP fund, special assistance under Article 275(1) from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs was utilised for piped water supply to 695 villages. Meanwhile, survey of all the villages has been completed and nearest water sources have been identified.
The issue of drinking water supply in OTELP project villages was discussed at an inter-departmental meeting convened by Principal Secretary, Rural Development, CJ Venugopal here on Friday. Secretary of Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes Development Santosh Sarangi and OTELP Programme Director Susanta Nanda and senior officers of the two departments were present.
It was decided that the project will be implemented through village committees. OTELP engineers will assist the committees in preparing the project estimate.
After completion, the project will be handed over to village committee for maintenance.
User charges will be collected from beneficiary households and utilised for payment of electricity bills and future maintenance of the project.