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Deccan Herald » District » Detailed Story
Water woes: State directed to prepare master plan
DH News Service Mysore:
The Union Ministry of Rural Development has asked the State government to prepare a master plan for addressing drinking water problems in 12 drought-prone districts of the State. It has assured special grants for supplying potable water in the villages of the said districts where there is servere scarcity of drinking water.

This was disclosed by Union Minister for Rural Development Dr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh after inaugurating a special project - Employment Generation for Rural Folk Through Enterprises - under the Swarna Jayanthi Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SJGSY), at Suttur village in Nanjangud taluk on Thursday.

The minister promised special funds for the development of drought-prone districts such as Bellary, Davangere, Kolar, Chitradurga, Bijapur under the Integrated Waste Land Development Programme, Integrated Dry Land Development Programme, and Integrated Drought Prone Area Development Programme.

Funds not fully utilised

Dr Singh said his ministry had released crores of rupees to three districts - Davangere, Bidar and Chitradurga - under the ‘Food for Work’ (FoW) Scheme. But the districts have not fully utilised the funds. They have not even spent 60 per cent of funds so far.

If they spend the remaining grants, they would get fresh grants this year, he said.

“If Karnataka comes up with a proposal, we will extend grants for other drought-affected districts under the FoW,” he informed. The minister said Rs 300 crore has been released to the State under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Rozgar Yojana and Rs 154 crore for supplying drinking water to 5,000 villages in the State. “This programme will help in meeting the demand for supplying 40 litres of water per day per person in the villages,” he observed.

He also said the ministry will address the problem of presence of flourides, arsenic and nitrates in drinking water.

Referring to the proposals from the State for rural development, the minister said out of the 22 proposals submitted by Karnataka, seven had been cleared and 17 are pending before the ministry. These proposals will also be cleared shortly, by releasing necessary funds.

The minister lauded the Suttur Mutt for its contribution in the area of health, education and social development.

Watershed development

In his presidential address, Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said his government will accord top priority for watershed development programmes from next year in the wake of depletion of groundwater and failure of borewells. “We are working on bringing a permanent solution to water problem,” he informed.

Emphasising the need for making agriculture a profitable venture, the DyCM said water management is most necessary for achieving success in agriculture. The skills of better water management is essential for farmers and scientists should help them in this regard.
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