Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday announced a pilot project of desalination of ground water at a cost of Rs. 25 crore, having capacity of 5 million liter per day, to ensure clean potable water to the residents of southern Punjab villages. The water for desalination would be taken from around 100 waterlogged villages of Fazilka and Abohar areas of southern Punjab.This announcement was made by the Chief Minister on the concluding day of his pre-budget deliberations and involved discussions with the MLAs of Malwa-II. Captain Amarinder Singh said that this project would have a desalinization capacity of 5 million liter per day to provide safe drinking water to the inhabitants of these areas, where the quality of ground water was extremely poor due to high level of salinity. At present, the drinking water is supplied to the inhabitants of this region through canal water, the supply of which is inadequate to cater to the growing requirement of water consumption, especially for drinking.The desalinization project was the need of the hour in Fazilka district as the quality of water in about 100 villages was not up to the mark and posed a severe health hazard. Moreover, the treated water after desalinization could be safely used for drinking purposes, he added.Notably, the approximately cost for 1 MLD treatment is about Rs. 5 crore. However, a large plant covering a sizeable population would be far more economically viable.
The Chief Minister further said that after reviewing the success of this pilot project in Malwa belt, the state Government would go for installing other such plants in different parts of the state to ensure clean potable water. He also asked the Principal Secretary Water Supply and Sanitation to prepare a blueprint for effective implementation of the project in a time-bound manner so as to provided much needed reprieve to the people of southern Punjab.Prominent amongst others who were present during the meeting included Cabinet Ministers Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manpreet Singh Badal, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Vijayinder Singla and Gurpreet Singh Kangar.Senior Advisor to CM Lt. General (Retd.) TS Shergill, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, ACS Excise and Taxation MP Singh, ACS Health Satish Chandra, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tewari, Additional Chief Secretary Social Justice and Empowerment Roshan Sunkaria, Principal Secretary Rural Development and Panchayats Anurag Verma also attended the meeting.