Proposal for 15 drinking water schemes in Purulia
The Purulia district administration on Thursday sent a proposal to the Bengal government for setting up drinking water projects at the source of 15 irrigation dams to combat drinking water scarcity.
Sources said the initiative was taken after chief minister Mamata Banerjee had expressed dissatisfaction over the drinking water problem in the drought-prone Purulia district at her administrative meeting on December 29.
The drinking water scarcity in the Jungle Mahal areas like Bandwan and Jhalda becomes the main issue in every election.
“We have 32 dams for irrigation in district. We have already used the water of six dams to supply pipe water. We have now selected 15 more dams from where piped drinking water would be supplied,” Purulia district magistrate Rahul Majumder said.
Officials said the total cost of the projects would be around Rs 75 crore and the proposal sent to the public health engineering (PHE) department for approval.
Sources in the Trinamul Congress said the chief minister wanted to solve the problem before the Assembly polls in 2021.
According to the proposal, the dams like Totko have been selected for the water supply in the Bandwan area and the Marbel lake would be used for the Ayodhya hills.
“Drinking water scarcity is one of the major issues in Purulia. If we could solve the problem, our support base would become stronger,” said a senior Trinamul leader.
Trinamul’s organisational strength started weakening in the district since the 2018 panchayat elections.
The BJP had secured nine of 38 zilla parishad seats and majority in 44 out of 170 gram panchayats and four of 20 panchayat samitis. Jyotirmoy Singh Mahato of the BJP won the Purulia Lok Sabha seat by a margin of over two lakh votes in the general election last year.
“Three civic bodies in the district would go to polls this summer and the drinking water scarcity would be a major issue. If the project starts before the coming summer, it would help us,” another Trinamul leader said.
The state government has taken an initiative in 2013 to start piped drinking water project with the help of JAICA (Japan International Co-operation Agency) but it didn’t take off because of several problems in the tender.
“After the chief minister heard about the problem with the old water projects, she directed us to find out a new way to supply drinking water before this summer. We have sent the proposal as per the chief minister’s order,” said a senior official in Purulia.