New Delhi: Since the installation of hand pumps for drinking water in the villages had given a bad experience to the Central government, it has now decided to find out a permanent solution to the age-old problem.

The government has decided to lay down pipelines and construct water tanks for the provision of potable water for the villages.

At the conference of Secretaries of the state for the Water Supply and Sanitation Policy, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said there would be radical changes in the drinking water supply scheme. 

Jairam said the traditional sources of drinking water in villages, the wells have already dried. In such a situation, the hand pumps have become the largest source of drinking water.

The Rural Development Ministry has clarified that the Centre would not give any financial assistance in the installation of hand pumps in villages, said Ramesh, adding “If the state governments want they can use their resources to install hand pumps.”

It may be noted that the Centre’s move just before the assembly election in Uttar Pradesh may cost dearly to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Dismissing such apprehension, Ramesh said massive corruption is involved in this process. Under certain circumstances, hand pumps can only be set up in far flung villages or in tribal areas.

“Although the government has shown its commitment by laying down pipelines for the supply of drinking water in rural areas, the scenario of power supply in the villages needs lots of attention. Because this may also hamper the plan related pipelines,” he added.

The Centre in its budget has a provision of Rs 10,000 crore for the schemes related to drinking water supply. Of which, Rs 1000 crore is slated for the Naxal-affected areas, another one thousand crore would be given to local units and panchayats which would manage and establish the water resources on their own.

The remaining eight thousand crore would be spent on water supply in the rest of the country.

(JPN/ Bureau)