Rural India moves from hand pump to tapped water
The government has said that 90 per cent of all rural households in the country will be covered by tapped water system by 2022, as the focus now is shifted from the hand pump approach to the surface water supply system. Briefing the media after a two-day conference of state Ministers in charge of Rural Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said that at present only 35 per cent households in rural India has piped water system. He informed that while Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh have more than 80 per cent rural areas covered by tapped water supply, in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar less than 10 per cent areas are under the piped water scheme, as the focus in these North Indian states are more on hand pumps.
Due to absence of electricity in rural and extremely backward areas, some states have demanded solar-energy based drinking water system, said Ramesh, adding that the centre has already approved installation of solar-based water system in 10,000 villages of 78 naxal-affected districts with an outlay of Rs540 crore and the project will be completed in 18 months.
The Rural Development Ministry has sought Rs230 crore as grant from the finance ministry for this project. He said that form 12th Five Year Plan every person in rural India will get 55 litres of water per day as against the current entitlement of 40 litres and the same is 135 litres per person per day in urban areas, which the minister described as biased in nature.
Ramesh said that from the 12th Plan, state governments can spend up to 62 per cent of the funds on improving the water quality, which is at present only 11 per cent.