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July 16, 2020

Bengal Govt’s Jal Swapna Scheme brings piped water to 33,000 households in just 20 days

Bengal Govt’s Jal Swapna Scheme brings piped water to 33,000 households in just 20 days

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Government’s developmental work is going on at full pace. The government’s Jal Swapna Scheme has brought piped water to 33,000 households in just 20 days.

The scheme, a brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was formally inaugurated eight days back; however, the work had already started towards the end of last month. While some houses are being supplied with purified water, others are being supplied with groundwater.

The pipelines for another 83 lakh houses have already been laid; the supply of water would start soon.

The scheme envisages building a pipeline network for two crore houses in five years, at a cost of Rs 58,000 crore. At this pace of work, though, the work would be completed much earlier.

As of now, 12,883 houses in South 24 Parganas, 3,412 houses in Hooghly, 2,705 houses in Malda, 2,552 houses in North 24 Parganas and 2,127 houses in Nadia are being supplied water through pipes. The rest of the 33,000 households are distributed among the districts of Murshidabad, Dakshin Dinajpur, Birbhum, Kalimpong, Jhargram, Bankura, Uttar Dinajpur and Purulia.

The augmentation of the network of pipelines in hilly areas and in remote places is taking time but will happen soon enough. Detailed project reports (DPRs) for several areas are ready.

This work would have begun much earlier had it not been for the lockdown. As soon as the strict lockdown winded down and the unlock phase started, work began in full swing.

The planning for the whole scheme, though, was started much earlier – on June 6, by the chief minister herself. She decided that it would help in improving the lives of rural women immensely if they did not have to trudge long distances to bring water for their families.

Another crucial decision taken regarding the scheme was that the taps filled on to the pipelines in all the houses would have to be photographed and uploaded on to a software for senior project and departmental officials to inspect. This would ensure that there are no irregularities in the implementation of the scheme.

Jal Swapna is part of her overall thinking for improving the lives and livelihoods of the rural populace, especially now that the pandemic is wreaking havoc. The providing of work to youths and others in villages across the State under the 100 Days’ Work Scheme is also part of that thinking.