House panel asks govt to devise a detailed planThe Development Committee of the Legislative-Parliament has asked the government to come up with a detailed plan to distribute of clean drinking water and mitigate water scarcity.
The Development Committee of the Legislative-Parliament has asked the government to come up with a detailed plan to distribute of clean drinking water and mitigate water scarcity.
The House panel’s instruction came after it took stock of the current status of drinking water in the country with State Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation Deepak Khadka and Secretary at the ministry Bhim Prasad Uphadyay.
The meeting also urged the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation to submit a report along with a tentative date when the people across the country would get the clean drinking water.
After soliciting views from the minister, secretary and officials, the meeting concluded that it would be difficult to provide clean drinking water to all by 2017—the target set by the government. It noted limited drinking water sources in small cities, lack of coordination between the government agencies, lack of investment and slow progress on big water supply projects as key factors pegging the country from achieving that target.
The meeting also instructed the government to exempt drinking water tariff in villages, grant assistance to generate solar power at drinking water projects, ensure the quality of construction materials used to build drinking water projects and implement the one house, one tap programme across the country.
The panel directed the government to expand the Small Town Drinking Water and Sanitation Sector Project. Around 600,000 people of 29 small towns were benefited through implementation of the first-phase of the project that was implemented with the loan assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The bank has agreed to provide grant further assistance to implement the project in additional 21 small towns which is expected to benefit 360,000 people.
State Minister Khadka spoke of the need of support from all quarters, including the consumers, for the sustainability of quality drinking water supply projects. “15 percent people are still do not have access to basic drinking water. The government is committed to providing such services to all by 2017,” he said.
Lawmakers present at the meeting drew the government’s attention towards guaranteeing people’s right to pure drinking water which the constitution has recognised as the fundamental right of the citizens. People in urban areas lack access to pure drinking water, while those in the Hills are crying for basic drinking water facilities, they said.