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TelanganaMission Bhagiratha far more advanced than Centre's Jal Jeevan Mission: Errabelli

Mission Bhagiratha far more advanced than Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission: Errabelli

Published: 4th Nov 2020 5:11 pm

Hyderabad: Telangana State government’s flagship programme Mission Bhagiratha is far more advanced than the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission which just pumps bore water unlike the potable water supplied to 98.4 per cent of the households in the State under Mission Bhagiratha, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and Rural Water Supply Errabeli Dayakar Rao said on Wednesday.

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“Despite the advanced features of Mission Bhagiratha and the fact that it is being replicated in other States, the Union government continues to ignore Telangana’s repeated requests for Central assistance to maintain the project,” the Minister said, adding that the unfiltered water supplied under the Central scheme can cause water-borne diseases. When it comes to implementation of the Central scheme, the Union government will only bear 60 per cent of the project cost while States are expected to chip in with the rest, he added.

The Minister was speaking at a review meeting at the Mission Bhagiratha office here. He said that Telangana was spending Rs 45,000 crore on this project, whereas the Centre will be spending around Rs 3.60 lakh crore and hopes to complete the nationwide project by 2024. “While the States also have to share the financial burden, the Centre will release only Rs 22,813 crore during this financial year,” he said.

Comparing Mission Bhagiratha with similar programmes implemented in Gujarat, Dayakar Rao said that while Telangana was providing water to 98.4 per cent of the households in the State, Gujarat could hardly complete 80 per cent of the work in a decade. “We laid 1.47 lakh km of pipelines under the programme which is equal to three times the circumference of earth,” he said, adding that Gujarat was depending less on Narmada water and more on borewells which could lead to health issues.

Dayakar Rao said that so far 35,160 overhead tanks have been constructed in the State for which 187 MW of electricity will be used to pump water. “The Centre which released Rs 883 crore for Gujarat under the Jal Jeevan Scheme, didn’t heed our request for reimbursement of cost of maintenance of Mission Bhagiratha project which has far more advanced features,” Dayakar Rao said. He said that even Uttar Pradesh which has so far completed a mere 5.78 per cent of the works received Rs 2,550 crore.

Step-motherly treatment

“Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself launched Mission Bhagiratha on August 6, 2016, and lauded the programme, the Centre has not sanctioned the Rs 19,000 crore recommended by the Niti Aayog. What is noteworthy is that West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha and several other States have sent their technical teams to study Mission Bhagiratha and are replicating the scheme in their respective States,” he said.

He said that Jal Jeevan Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, at a video conference on Tuesday, termed Telangana as the only State in the country that had succeeded in distributing potable water to every household. The programme has been awarded the top prize by National Water Mission-2019 for increasing efficiency of water consumption by 20 per cent, he said. “But the Centre refuses to grant Rs 2,110 crore that Telangana has sought for maintenance of the project, Dayakar Rao said.

The Mission Bhagiratha programme was launched with an estimated cost of Rs 46,123 crore, out of which 80 per cent of funds were raised from Hudco, Nabard and commercial banks. So far, Rs 33,400 crore have been spent and piped water has been delivered to 23,787 habitations and the process of taking water to the left over 188 habitations will be completed soon. Similarly, out of the 18,175 water tanks to be constructed, 18,076 have been completed and the remaining will be completed by the end of November.

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