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3 districts to start safe water project

The state government has decided to implement a safe drinking water project in Nalanda, Nawada and West Champaran.

The project, aided by World Bank and the central government, would be launched in Patna on June 21 in the presence of World Bank officials, public health and engineering (PHED) minister Mahachandra Prasad Singh said on Monday.

The project would be launched in Patna, Munger, Banka, Purnea, Muzaffarpur, Begusarai and Saran apart from the three districts. Former chief minister Nitish Kumar had earlier launched the Begusarai project.

“The Rs 1,606-crore project would provide pure drinking water to every doorstep 24x7,” said Singh, adding that the project also entails construction of toilets in every household.

An awareness programme with reference to the project would also be conducted at the places where it would be implemented from June 11 to June 15, ensuring participation of panchayats and communities to make the event successful.

“Under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan programme, in the 2014-15 fiscal, the department has set a target to build 13.68 lakh toilets in rural areas,” the minister said, adding that the state is contemplating to adopt panchayats to get rid of open toilets, “which is a bane for Bihar”.

Under the state government’s scheme for hand pumps, the minister admitted that because of delay in shortlisting the sites, targets have not been fulfilled for the 2012-13 fiscal.

In the 2013-14 financial year, out of the 55,221 only 6,000 hand pumps have been sunk so far, Singh said.

He added: “The remaining hand pumps would be sunk by October-November this year.”

Giving details about the preparation made by the state for Shravani Mela-2014, which would begin on July 8, the PHED minister said seven reverse osmosis (RO) water purifiers would be installed in Banka for the devotees.