Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], October 8 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday announced that the process of providing 16.48 lakh drinking water connections in rural areas of the State will start soon.
The Chief Minister was speaking at the inauguration of the Jalajeevan Mission project implemented by the government to provide drinking water connection to 49.65 lakh rural households in the state by 2024.
Inaugurating the project through video conferencing, the Chief Minister said, "In addition to the project providing domestic connections, 69 drinking water projects worth Rs 4,351 crores are being realized in the state through funding from KIIFB. Administrative sanction has been given for projects worth Rs 4,343.89 crores in 716 panchayats, through the Jalajeevan Mission in the first phase. 564 projects are being implemented in the first phase. Domestic connections are provided by increasing the capacity of the existing freshwater projects, extending some projects and strengthening the source of some."
The second phase of the project aims to provide drinking water connectivity to all households in 586 villages, 380 panchayats and 23 block panchayats. Beneficiaries belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have been included in the first phase of the scheme so that they get to avail the benefits as soon as possible.
"The project will be implemented in a transparent and time-bound manner so that the public and the people's representatives can know about the progress of the project through the website at any time. The Kerala Water Authority and Jalanidhi are the implementing agencies for the project. The scheme is being implemented by utilizing central assistance by forming committees from panchayat level to state-level", the CM added.
Some of the drinking water projects being funded through KIIFB include the Ponnani Comprehensive Drinking Water Project, the Kollam Drinking Water Project Expansion, the Koyilandy Drinking Water Project, the Neyyar Dam Alternative Source Water Supply Project and the Kuttanad Drinking Water Project Phase II.
The Jalajeevan Mission project will provide drinking water connection to 21.42 lakh households in 2020-21. Out of the total 67.15 lakh rural households in Kerala, only 17.50 lakh households have access to drinking water. The aim is to provide drinking water connection to all the remaining rural households through the Jalajeevan project.
The CM also said that the government has undertaken several projects to improve the irrigation and water resources sector. Coastal protection projects worth Rs. 239.74 crores were started in the state yesterday. A Rs 360 crores project is being implemented with the assistance of the World Bank for the rehabilitation and improvement of dams. (ANI)