Shimla: Although Himachal Pradesh, reeling under acute financial crisis, has been awarded the status of a special state, it lacks the facilities given to the states included in this category.

The drinking water projects of Himachal Pradesh are a glaring example of the step-motherly treatment by the Centre. In an effort to provide water supply in far flung areas, the state government prepared a blue print for the project, which was approved by the Union Government.

According to the regulations, 90 percent of the total expenditure was to be allocated by the Central government, but it has yet not been done.

Despite being neglected by the Union Government, the state has managed to facilitate the drinking water facility to 84 percent of the household.

According to the data available, 62 percent of the household in the nation have the facility of drinking water. While north-eastern states and Jammu & Kashmir are getting the financial aid for drinking water related projects from the Centre in a ration of 90:10, the help being given to HP is either in the ratio of 50:50 or 75:25.

The state has also been deprived of the Centre’s aid in setting up hand pumps. So far, 23,331 hand pumps have been set up in Himachal by the Irrigation and Public Health department. 

As per the survey conducted by the Centre in 1993, 5,115 villages of HP were to be provided with the drinking water facility by 2011. However, without much support from the Centre, the state government was successful in achieving the double of the stipulated target.

(JPN/ Bureau)