Bhubaneswar, April 11: The Odisha government has decided to provide drinking water to all the panchayats across the state and build concrete roads covering 20,000km in rural areas. While efforts will be made to provide the drinking water to all the panchayats headquarters by 2014, the concrete roads will be built within the next five years.
Of the 6,236 gram panchayats, at least 2,577 panchayat headquarters do not have access to drinking water.
To provide drinking water to all panchayats by 2014, chief minister Naveen Patnaik has asked the rural development department to prepare a masterplan so that all the households in the panchayats can get safe drinking water at their homes. “The plan will be prepared to meet drinking water demands for the next 10 years,” said an official.
During a review meeting chaired by Naveen, it came to light that at least one tubewell was set up in 1. 41 lakh hamlets. It was also decided that at least one tubewell would be set up within 250 metres from an anganwadi centre.
The Odisha government has also stressed on providing drinking water through tankers to all the areas facing shortage. They have already deployed 132 tankers so far.
The government has earmarked Rs 265 crores to overcome the high fluoride content in water. Under the scheme, four projects will be taken up in Nuapada, Nayagarh and many parts of Khurda districts where the fluoride content in water is high.
The state government has also asked the officials to repair all the defunct tubewell within a month. A total of 272 junior engineers have already been posted at the blocks to look into the water supply problem.
As for the plan to build concrete roads to connect 20,000 km of rural hamlets, the state will build 4,000 km of roads each year.