The tireless and consistent efforts of the Water Supply and Sanitation Department has borne fruits as the department has been successful in getting approval for 5 prestigious projects worth Rs. 540 crore from the National Sub Mission on Water Quality of GoI and World Bank for the supply of safe drinking water to the villages affected by arsenic, iron and fluoride. Besides this the Punjab Government is also all set to establish treatment plants and water testing laboratories in affected districts to remove toxic material from the surface and ground water sources.Disclosing this here today, Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation Mrs. Razia Sultana said that work on these 5 projects which have been approved by National Sub Mission on Water Quality of GoI and World Bank and would be awarded by November 2018. She said that once completed these projects would provide safe drinking water to 563 villages of Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala, Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts affected from Arsenic and Fluoride.Mrs. Sultana said that two ‘Water Testing Laboratories’ at SAS Nagar and Patiala have also been accredited by National Board of Accreditation of Labs (NABL) and soon one more advanced laboratory equipped with facilities for analyzing heavy metals & other containments will be established at Amritsar.
She said that about 2364 RO plants have already been installed in various quality affected villages of Punjab including Malwa belt whereas another 74 plants are under progress and 153 more RO plants will be installed in fiscal year 2018-19.Highlighting the importance of these toxic substances removal plants, Mrs. Razia Sultan said that arsenic, iron and fluoride which are considered as most dangerous substances in surface and ground water sources for human consumption would be removed with the high end technology of these plants. “These plants are capable enough to remove extra Fluoride, Arsenic and iron from the drinking water which were proved toxic for humans and other living beings hence its removal is paramount to healthy living” she added.Giving details about plants successful commissioned in the recent past in the State, Water Supply Minister said that 3 Arsenic Removal Plants have been commissioned on pilot basis to establish technology for Iron & Arsenic removal in Amritsar. On the successful demonstration of the technology, around 70 more Arsenic removal Plants are being installed to cover 102 villages mainly in the districts of Amritsar and Gurdaspur.The Minister said that two surface water supply schemes are under progress to cover 45 water quality affected villages of Nurpur Bedi block of district Rupnagar and 85 water quality affected villages of district Moga .The likely date of commissioning of the projects is August 2018 & August 2019 respectively.