Ranchi: Jharkhand Speaker C P Singh and several MLAs on Wednesday expressed doubt over accuracy of the figure when Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren informed the House that 98.04 per cent of the rural population was getting “clean drinking water”.

“Then how long it would take for the government to provide clean drinking water to the rest 1.6 per cent rural populace,” Singh asked Soren as opposition MLAs termed the CM's reply during question hour on drinking water facilities as 'exaggerated'.

Soren insisted that the statistics were obtained from the central government's website.
The Speaker, however, said "We can see TV (channels) showing people fetching water from ponds."

Accusing the drinking water department of not taking the problem seriously, ruling BJP MLA and former Deputy Chief Minister Raghuvar Das asked the chair to ensure such matters were taken seriously by the department.

Intervening in the matter, Chief Minister Arjun Munda explained the technical side of the statistical figure while drawing the attention of house to depleting water level.

Admitting that there were some problems, Munda said under the new central proposal, piped water would be supplied.

Referring to the 2004 laboratory test that had found fluoride and arsenic contents in the ground waters of Palamau, Garhwa and Sahibganj, Munda said filters had been fixed in hand pumps in some areas of Sahibganj.

The government’s effort was to provide drinking water with filter units attached to the hand pumps, he added.