This article on the Planning Commission site presents a review of the government figures regarding coverage of all rural habitations in the country with good drinking water supply. The article goes on to provide data on the current situation with respect to water supply coverage in the different states country as found through different studies and surveys.
The article describes the Auditor General's survey on the situation of drinking water in 304 divisions spread over 24 states, which found that:
- Re-emergence of habitations with no source of drinking water negating the impact of the schemes
- Financial achievements were inflated, funds were diverted to other schemes or kept in Personal/Revenue Deposits.
- Large funds were met irregularly out of the ARWSP funds, instead of from State Plan funds.
- Suspected mis-appropriation of funds/stores was reported by AGs on which Government failed to take corrective action.
- Mis-directed application of funds without adequate planning and scientific identification of water sources resulting in time and cost over runs.
- Schemes were abandoned mid-way or became inoperative after spending huge amounts.
- Inadequate maintenance rendered water sources defunct and non-operative.
Material purchased in excess of requirement was lying idle in stores/not accounted for in books.
- Water Quality Testing Laboratories were ill-equipped with inadequate facilities (non-creation /non filling of posts) and trained manpower.
- Water Treatment Plants installed to control fluorosis, remove excess iron and salinity were non-functional resulting in continued supply of unsafe drinking water to the rural population.
- Gross under-utilisation of rigs.
The other water issues that the article highlights include:
- Dealing with issues of water quality
- Control on withdrawal of groundwater
- Lack of people's participation in water management
- The issue of water tariffs
- Groundwater recharge through watershed development
- Encouraging traditional rainwater harvesting technologies
- Planning for a new water policy
The article can be downloaded from below: