VISAKHAPATNAM : The state government would soon launch an ambitious project to supply 50-litre drinking water a day to every household in Andhra Pradesh. As an immediate measure to overcome the drinking water problem in rural areas during the ensuing summer, the government has released `7 crore to each mandal to identify and repair faulty borewells and sink new ones after closing the defunct ones.
Inaugurating a national workshop on ‘Water and Sustainable Development’, organised at YVS Murthy Auditorium in Andhra University Engineering College, on the occasion of the World Water Day, Panchayat Raj minister Ch Ayyanna Patrudu said that currently the government was unable to supply more than 10-15 litre per household despite the best efforts.
“In the last nine months, we succeeded in getting `1,200 crore sanctioned under the 13th Finance Commission funds for improving the drinking water supply condition. In tribal areas like Visakhapatnam agency where there is no proper drinking water facility, the government is setting up 1,000 solar water pumpsets,” he explained.
The district administration has been asked to take all measures to ensure that not a single drop of rainwater is wasted and the groundwater levels are improved through rainwater harvesting. The state government has released about `56 crore to each district in the state in this regard.“The officials should take up the enumeration of the total number of borewells and carry out necessary repairs. Borewells that are not functioning must be repaired or closed down and new ones sunk,” he added. Under the Neeru-Chettu programme, the government plans to revive over 40,000 village tanks by spending `27,000 crore over five years. District collector N Yuvaraj wanted people to take part in the water conservation and treat water as a national resource. He pointed out that several laws were being violated and water was being misused which could lead to its scarcity. Zilla parishad chairperson Lalam Bhavani emphasised the need for planned water conservation and consumption. She pointed out that it was the responsibility of every individual to ensure that groundwater was not wasted.
Andhra University vice-chancellor GSN Raju felt that more water was being wasted than conserved. He wanted the government to ensure that at least 20 litres of drinking water was supplied to each household by desalinating sea water.
The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation department, Vizianagaram-based Bharathi Theertha and Andhra University College of Engineering organised the two-day workshop which would conclude Monday. Academicians, scientists, environmentalists and officials attended the event in large number.