Chandigarh– Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said the state was all set to provide 100 per cent potable water connections to all rural households by 2022, with a whopping 50 per cent of these households already covered with individual household water connections.
In a virtual conference with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the Chief Minister said as of April 1 of the 1,634 habitations in which groundwater was impacted, 477 had been provided potable water, and the state was committed to covering all rural households with piped water supply connections by March 2022.
To further boost the state’s efforts this direction, the Chief Minister sought reduction in GST on treatment plans as well as purification media from the current 18 to 5 per cent, in order to make the Jal Jiwan Mission (JJM) schemes sustainable in the long run.
He pointed out that media in the water treatment plants need to be replaced every two-three years.
Amarinder Singh also urged the Union Minister to recognise the 1,449 Kandi belt villages as ‘Hill Area’ to reduce the beneficiary contribution from 10 to five per cent for construction under the Jal Jiwan Mission.
It was imperative for the Central government to support the state in availing finance from NABARD and other multilateral agencies to provide for the state share under Jal Jiwan Mission, he said.
On the issue of the Kandi belt villages, the Chief Minister said the state had been repeatedly raising the subject with the Central government for the past two years, but no action had yet been taken.
These villages are akin to neighbouring villages of Himachal Pradesh which are receiving funding on a 90:10 sharing basis, with beneficiaries residing there required to contribute only five per cent towards the cost of the scheme, he said. (IANS)