BHUBANESWAR: In a belated move, the State Government on Tuesday announced that it will utilise `300 crore unspent balance from Central Finance Commissions for creating drinking water infrastructure in villages.
A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to review drinking water crisis in the State.
Besides, 30 per cent of the funds provided by 14th Finance Commission and 4th State Finance Commission will also be utilised for the provision of drinking water.
The Chief Minister said Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) will be responsible for maintenance of drinking water projects and tubewells with financial assistance from panchayats. He asked panchayats to immediately provide financial assistance in this regard. Naveen warned that strong action will be taken against sarpanchs found not cooperating.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Mohapatra said the Chief Minister directed the district Collectors to utilise Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and Gopabandhu Gramin Yojana funds for creation of check dam and water harvest projects in their respective areas. The CM approved the Rural Development Department's decision to cancel leave of all Rural Water Supply and Sanitation employees, including engineers, till the end of summer. Besides, he asked the Department to verify all water supply hot spots within seven days and directed the Chief Engineer concerned to submit a verification certificate by April 30.