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Focus on water projects

- Review exposes slow progress of welfare schemes in rural pockets of Ranchi, Khunti

Ranchi, June 3: A review meeting conducted by the urban development department in collaboration with the drinking water and sanitation department today bared myriad problems being faced by remote hamlets across the state in the absence of proper implementation of projects under both state and central schemes.

Urban development minister Suresh Paswan and department secretary Ajay Kumar Singh conducted the review that was attended by 40 members of nagar panchayats of districts like Jamtara, Ranchi, Pakur, Hazaribagh, Khunti, Koderma, Latehar, Koderma, West Singhbhum and Godda at a Ranchi hotel.

A maximum number of grievances voiced pertained to water problems at villages because of non-implementation of water supply projects under the Centre-sponsored Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small & Medium Towns and Basic Services to the Urban Poor.

For example, Radha Devi, chairperson of Bundu Nagar Panchayat, complained that there were no water pipelines in her block. “We are facing immense problems as even wells and tube wells have dried up in our village. We have to walk for hours to fetch water,” she added.

Her Jamtara counterpart Birendra Mandal said the administration was yet to prepare detailed project reports of schemes under Basic Services to the Urban Poor. “We had approached the deputy commissioner, but works are still pending,” he rued.

After lending a patient ear to all their woes, Paswan took a strict stand, saying that he would ensure that DPRs of all water schemes and other projects were ready at the earliest.

“We will urge the officials to float tenders for inviting prospective bidders. It’s rather sad that our men have little knowledge about the tender process as a result of which many water projects have not kicked off. But I have asked them to pull up socks and they have become active to float tenders at the earliest,” he said.

He laid stress on preparation of DPRs for proposed projects like model bus stand, marriage hall, streetlights and crematorium. “Officials must abide by the orders, or else, action will be taken against them,” Paswan warned.

Secretary Ajay Kumar Singh agreed. “Project management is crucial for proper implementation of water supply schemes. We have come across complaints of projects failing to take off. Land clearance is another key issue. But we need to re-start our works to ensure that safe drinking water reached all,” he added.