Kaul Singh Thakur, Irrigation and Public Health Minister said that Himachal Pradesh Government has submitted an action plan of Rs. 21.69 crore to the centre to provide quality water to the rural areas by construction of intake structures, sanitary protections and water treatment plants to provide sanitary protection to natural resources in catchments areas in the State. He was speaking in the National Conference on Rural Sanitation and Water Quality Management at New Delhi today.
Singh told that a provision of Rs.2.80 crore has been made to set up iron removal plants to solve the iron content problem observed in hand pump water in some areas of the State. He told that State Government has taken sustainable measures for ensuring clean drinking water from drinking water supply schemes by providing 5% funds of ARWSP for execution of rain water harvesting structures like check dams, ponds, weirs, cutoff walls and revival of traditional water sources. He told that department has received Rs.198.25 lakh central assistance for upgradation of district water testing labs, plus two level senior secondary school labs, HRD, IEC activities etc in the State and added that 300 field kits and 200 voils have been distributed to panchayat functionaries to test the water quality in the schemes which have been handed over to the panchayats in the State
He told that 18 water testing laboratories have been set up in the State to monitor the water quality of the rural areas and added that four testing labs at Kandaghat, Dharmshala, Mandi and Shimla will be upgraded by providing latest machinery and equipment in these labs. He told that provision of Rs.22.61crore has been made for water quality monitoring and surveillance under the grants of Rs.150.72 crore under ARWSP for the year 2006-2007. He said that Total Sanitation Campaign Project has been sanctioned for all the districts of the State under which IEC capacity building and training will be taken up to achieve 100 percent coverage of schools and house holds in the State. He said that all the 82 gram panchayats of Mandi and Kullu districts have become open defecation free and added that 1000 master trainers have been selected in the State to further impart training to the field level workers to create awareness about sanitation at block and village level.