Bhubaneswar: As part of the birth centenary celebrations of legendary leader Biju Patnaik and the 80th year of the state’s formation, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday dedicated 100 urban drinking water supply projects in the state at a function at the State Secretariat here.
“These projects with a cost of Rs 63 crore will benefit a population of 27 lakh in 41 urban local bodies (ULBs), including five municipal corporations in 20 districts of our state”, Patnaik said on the occasion.
Among the urban areas included in this project are Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Nimapara, Konark, Berhampur, Chhatrapur, Rajgangpur, Nayagarh, Jeypore, Rayagada, Angul, Patnagarh, Rourkela etc.
Stating that the state government is committed to provide equitable, affordable, sustainable and safe drinking water to the urban population with a special focus on the urban poor, the chief minister said his government is working towards providing 135 litres of water per person per day and to provide piped water supply to all urban households, including those in the slum areas.
“Keeping this in view, efforts need to be taken for augmentation of water resources, covering the uncovered areas, improvement of transmission and distribution system and replacement of age-old pipe networks,” he observed.
The chief minister further said the state government has simplified the procedure for providing drinking water supply connections to the urban poor in December last year, which has resulted in the addition of 68,000 new household connections benefiting about three lakh urban poor.
He said the state government will provide free domestic water supply connections to all urban poor and economically weaker house-holds in the state by waiving the upfront connection fee of Rs 500.
The Housing and Urban Development department has identified 422 water scarce areas in 185 wards of 24 urban local bodies facing shortage of water during summer.
The 100 urban drinking water supply projects, construction of which have already been completed, would be inaugurated by the local MLAS in 20 districts in the next two days.
To expedite the project work, the state government has decided to earmark at least 30 percent of the funds available with the panchayats.
The chief minister directed the concerned authorities to ensure that all the 100 new projects start functioning in the next two days and submit a report in this regard within the next seven days.
The chief minister, who would also review the status of these projects once in a week, also asked the ministers of the Panchayati Raj, Housing and Urban Development and Rural Development to conduct review meetings twice a week and inform him about the status of these projects.