The Punjab government has submitted comprehensive project worth Rs.2200 crore to World Bank to rehabilitate 108 water supply schemes of water logged areas besides for improving operational performance of 1000 existing water supply schemes and for installing water treatment systems (ROs) in 250 quality affected villages with heavy metal or uranium. The project also envisages construction of inpidual household toilets and piped sewerage system in around 500 villages in addition to setting up of a Training Institute for development of the training modules / manuals and organizing training, orientation capacity building programme for departmental Engineers, District officials, Panchayat members, motivators, sector professionals, school teachers, students and executive agencies etc. Disclosing this here today, Mr. Surjit Singh Rakhra, Water Supply & Sanitation Minister said that the department has also been instructed to come out with the time bound programme of toilets in the villages to eradicate open defecation. He said that even after 67 years of independence, the open defecation was a curse and SAD-BJP government was committed to eradicate it.
Rakhra while appreciating the progress and activities of the department motivated the officers to work honestly with dedication for the welfare of the rural people for speedy implementation of Government programs to ensure potable water supply and clean sanitation services to the rural masses. Earlier Suresh Kumar while welcoming the Minister during his first detailed interaction with the Department, further apprised him regarding the initiatives & activities of Department. He said that Hon'ble CM set a target to ensure that all non covered villages pending so far must be provided with piped water supply up to the end of current financial year 2014-15 leading to NC free status for Punjab as on 1st of April 2015. He also set the target that Punjab should be open defecation free with the construction of toilets in the remaining households of Punjab during the next three years.
Chief Technical Coordinator Mr. S.R. Aggarwal through a presentation explained the Minister regarding the present status of coverage of habitations with potable water supply viz-a-viz service norm of 40 or 70 lpcd, single or multi village water supply schemes. Besides Financial Commissioner Development & Water Supply & Sanitation, Mr. Suresh Kumar, Special Secretary, Mr. Dharm Pal Gupta and all the Chief Engineers Mr. R.L. Kauldhar, Mr. Sudhir Bhatia, Mr. D.S. Cheema, Programme Director Mr. A.K. Soni and Chief Technical Coordinator Mr. S.R. Aggarwal well as all Superintending Engineers of the Department also attended the meeting.