Manipur government has sought a package of Rs 118 crore from the Centre to repair damaged water supply schemes and plants during the ongoing ethnic violence, PHE minister said Leishangthem Sushildro on Saturday.
During the violence, besides water pipelines, various water sources for the water supply schemes and plants were destroyed at the peripheries of the valley districts.
The damages severely hit normal functioning of the various water supply plants, the minister said during a news conference held at his office chamber at Old Secretariat in Imphal today.
He said that after the authorities of the PHE department lodged complaints, FIRs were registered at various police stations to book culprits involved in damaging water sources and pipelines. During a survey carried out by officials of the state PHE department, many of the water supply schemes were damaged beyond repair, he said.
The minister said the Singda Dam located in the foothill bordering Imphal West and Kangpokpi district remained non-functional till date due to the damages caused by miscreants,
The Dam is one of the main sources of water for various water supply plants in Imphal West,including the capital city.
Efforts were on to make the Dam functional, he added. He said that maximum damages of water sources and pipelines were detected in Bishnupur and Imphal West, the valley districts bordering Churachandpur and Kangpokpi respectively.
After thorough survey of extent of damages, the PHE department prepared a project which would need approximately Rs 118 crore to implement.
The draft project proposal has been submitted to the concerned Union ministry while seeking funds for the implementation of the project, he said.
Hoping that the Centre will sanction fund for the project, the minister said that the project mainly emphasized on development of water sources and repair of existing water sources damaged during the violence.
The project also included development of new water reservoirs for various small and medium water supply schemes and expansion of existing public ponds which can be used as water sources for the village or local level water supply schemes.
The minister said that his department was working hard to continue implementation of the Central sponsored Jal Jeevan Mission that targets to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections in all households in rural areas. Delay in holding of elections to the panchayat bodies has also affected normal functioning of various village level water supply schemes under the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), the minister asserted. He said that these water supply schemes were operated by water and sanitation committees chaired by pradhans and zilla parishad members.
However, with the expiry of the terms of the PRIs, most of the schemes have stopped functioning and it has greatly affected the supply of safe drinking water in the rural areas of the state, he said.
The government had made a temporary arrangement to resume the operation of these water supply schemes by entrusting local MLAs to revive the committees in their respective constituencies so as to make the water supply schemes functional again, he said.
It may be noted that in the latest five-year terms of the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) that covers rural areas of six valley districts of the state expired in October 2022.
Not only the PRIs, the elections to the municipal and urban bodies and autonomous district councils (ADCs) in the hill districts are also pending as their terms have also expired.