PHE & Water Supply Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Bamang Felix put forth the state’s issues related to PHE, water supply and sanitation, at national forum. He drew attention of the centre over the pending issues of Arunachal Pradesh pertaining to PHE, water supply and sanitation.
Felix was speaking at the National Conference on Water Supply and Sanitation organized by Union Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation. The conference was chaired by Union Minister, Drinking Water & Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar and was organized to commemorate the “the World Water Day”.
While apprising the house over few landmark initiatives taken by the Arunachal Government Felix said that all-out effort is being made to bring a catchment area policy to secure and preserve the source of water. He categorically sought the centre’s support in realizing this plan of the state government.
He further disclosed that Chief Minister Pema Khandu had been very particular over performance and has sought performance report from every department on quarterly basis for ensuring real time progress in each sphere. “Accordingly, necessary instructions have been passed to the department officers to ensure quality and quantity work in given time frame” Felix revealed.
“As per the approved data base, the state has 7577 rural habitations. Of these, a very large chunk of 4696 habitations are partially covered in terms of drinking water with about 2000 habitations under critical coverage category.
Arunachal Pradesh, which is the largest state in the North East is also the farthest state from the seat of power in Delhi. With many of its habitations located along the 1680 KMs of international boundary with China, Myanmar and Bhutan surrounded by harsh terrains, unsupportive climatic conditions and serious communication bottlenecks, implementation of the programmes and the schemes in the state is a huge challenge. Added to it is the higher cost parameters in terms of labour and material costs due to high mechanical and head load transportation involved to reach the work sites” the minister informed.
He however assured that despite constraints, Arunachal Pradesh with its limited internal resources is trying its best to fulfill the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister of providing safe drinking water to all by 2022.
Taking opportunity of the conference, Felix put forth few genuine demands of the state government for continued effort from the Ministry to enhance the allocation under NRDWP from NITI Aayog/ Finance Ministry in view of large number of habitations remaining uncovered throughout the country. If swachh status has to be achieved in actual sense, water sector needs to be given as much priority as sanitation, he reasoned. He further sought enhanced weightage of funding for ST category. Inclusion of cost disability factor as an additional weightage for distribution of funds under NRDWP to states vis a vis habitations in hill areas where there are no road connectivity and where there is involvement of considerable head load for carrying construction materials.
Felix also requested for continued & enhanced support from the Ministry under Water Quality Monitoring & Surveillance programme. He informed that under Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan Mission the state government has covered 84.05% of Individual Household Latrines (IHHL), 34.62% of Community Sanitary Complexes (CSC) and 9.08% of Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) component. In regards to the IHHL, the State Govt. is supplementing an amount of Rs 8000.00 per unit in addition to Rs 12000.00 state share, to build better quality latrines with total investment of Rs 20000.00 per unit combining GoI and State’s contributions, he added. Efforts are on in war footing manner to make Arunachal Pradesh Open Defecation Free State, Felix confidently said.
He was accompanied by officers from Water Supply and Sanitation, Government of Arunachal Pradesh during the conference.