Laying emphasis on strengthening of drinking water sources along with providing functional household tapped drinking water under Jal Jeevan Mission in the hill state, the Himachal Government has prepared a special plan to construct buffer storage to strengthen drinking water schemes.
As pilot project, the scheme would be initially implemented in Mandi and Kullu districts and after successful results, the same would be implemented in other districts as well, said the spokesperson. Under the scheme, the gravity drinking water schemes are being strengthened in far-flung areas of Kullu and Mandi districts.
Under the scheme, gravity drinking water would be accumulated for about three months and would be utilized at the time of need. Electricity would not be used for this process.
Spokesperson said that to implement this project at the ground level, State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee (SLSSC) has sanctioned Rs 353.57 crore.
Under the pilot project, buffer storage would be constructed for strengthening 147 schemes in nine blocks of Mandi district and 110 schemes in five blocks of Kullu district.
The Central Government has provided a total of Rs 2990.10 crore till March 2022 under Jal Jeevan Mission; and under this, 8.42 lakhs houses have been provided with tapped water whereas since 72 years of independence only about 7.63 lakhs houses have been provided with taps.
A total of 17.28 lakhs houses or families have been provided the taps in the State. The State Government has also appreciated the total coverage and work potential of the state under Jal Jeevan Mission.
In 2019-20, Rs 57.15 crore and in 2020-21, Rs 221.28 crore have been provided as incentive to the State. The State Government has provided an additional amount of Rs 750 crore as incentive to the state as best performance state for successful implementation of the scheme.
To ensure quality drinking water, the Jal Shakti Department has established 60 laboratories in the State and 14 laboratories setup at district level have been recognized by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
Besides, 36 sub-divisional level laboratories have also been recognized by NABL. About 83 percent laboratories of the state have been recognized by NABL, which is the highest at the national level.
As many as five women from each village are being identified and provided with training to test drinking water with Field Test Kit. Till date, training has been provided to 40,090 women and in last two years, water quality testing training has been provided to 61,901 persons in the state.
In 2020-21, one Field Test Kit each has been provided to 3615 Panchayats. In 2020-21, 18150 villages have been provided with Field Test Kits. Apart from this, to provide transparency in water quality, all the laboratories of the state have been opened for the public, in which testing is being done at minimal rates.
Last year, 2,93,245 drinking water samples were sent to laboratories for testing and 1,37,865 water samples were tested through Field Test Kits. In the present Financial Year, a target to test 3,00,606 water samples through laboratories and 142734 water samples through Field Test Kits have been set.
The successful implementation of the scheme would prove beneficial in realizing the vision of the government to provide safe drinking water in the state.