Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Minister C Ayyanna Patrudu has participated in the “National review meeting on National Rural Drinking Water programme and Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan” meeting held at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi.
While addressing the meeting, he appreciated for the initiative taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for achieving Swatchh Bharat by making India free from open defecation country by 2nd October, 2019. He appraised, “After AP state bifurcation 13 districts Andhra Pradesh has remained with 3.5 crores rural population. Out of 13 districts 9 districts are Coastal and having problem of salinity, fluoride in water and remaining 4 Districts are drought prone. To address this problem the chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh had made a promise to the people and mentioned in the elections manifesto and decided to implement new initiative called “NTR Sujala Pathakam”.
The objective is to bring down water borne epidemics because of contamination of water in the distribution net work pipelines and poor household hygienic. Hence the Government has decided to supply 20 liters of safe potable water in a can for Rs 2.00 to every household and this Programme will be launched on 2nd October this year. We are mobilizing Corporate Houses, Industrial Houses, NGOs and Philanthropists to participate in this programme. Government also decided to provide concession on power tariff and also decided to exempt VAT on treatment plants which would be used in this programme.
In order to achieve Swachh Bharat by making India free from open defecation by 2nd October, 2019, it is very essential that water has to be supplied to villages in sufficient quantities so as to provide tap connection to individual households. At present, in Andhra Pradesh more than 80% of Drinking Water Sources are ground water based. With erratic monsoons, rural villages face scarcity of water at regular intervals. Over exploitation of ground water also led to concentration of fluorides in certain areas. To tide over this problem as directed by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu has decided to develop State-wide Water Grid, based on surface water to cater water needs of rural, urban and industrial. Recently a team of Officers have been sent to Gujarat and studied the State-wide Water Grid.
Andhra Pradesh has major rivers Krishna, Godavari, Vamsadara and Nagavali and the Water requirement for 2044 is worked out at 154 TMC. Recently Government has constituted an expert committee to study the feasibility of tapping water from storage reservoirs and flood water from the rivers. Andhra Pradesh requires huge capital investment of Rs.10,000 to 15,000 crores for next 5 to 7 years. The current levels of investment into Drinking Water Sector may not be sufficient. Hence, the State is prepared to seek external funding from institutions like J I C A, ADB, World Bank. At the same time Government of India also needs to support State by way of additional funding. I request the Government of India to provide at least 1,000 crores every year for the next 5 years for the State of Andhra Pradesh from current level of funding in around Rs 300 to 400 crores.”
Regarding Rural Sanitation, “Government of Andhra Pradesh is committed for the Swachh Bharat Andhra Pradesh and we assure we leave no stone in turn to achieve the same if the time lying indicated by Government of India,” the minister said.