The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Filter-water scheme in trouble

Burdwan, Feb. 25: A Central scheme to supply drinking water to villages launched three months ago is in jeopardy in the state as Writers’ Buildings has failed to submit the project details.

The government blamed the districts for lack of response. The Union ministry of rural development has so far received four proposals from Burdwan and 126 from East Midnapore via Writers’. Burdwan has asked for Rs 32 lakh and East Midnapore Rs 8.4 crore.

The Sajaldhara scheme was launched by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Lucknow on his birthday on December 25.

With the panchayat polls in sight, the Left Front government wants to push the scheme but, sources said, squabbling among politicians at the panchayat level has led to the crisis.

According to the scheme, beneficiaries would have to pitch in with 10 per cent of the project cost. The rest would come from the Centre. The piped water supplied to the villages would have to be managed and maintained by the local panchayat.

Sources in the panchayat and rural development departments said repeated reminders to the zilla parishads to submit as many proposals as possible met with hardly any response. They said the government had sent guidelines to the parishads asking them to send in the proposals even before the Central scheme was launched.

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