New department for rural drinking water supply and sanitation soon

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The State government will soon establish a department to take care of drinking water supply and sanitation in rural areas.

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister H.K. Patil said here on Wednesday, “A separate department is being carved out to take care of rural drinking water supply and sanitation”. The government had accorded its approval for establishing this department within the purview of the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj. Issues of setting up administrative machinery and staff requirement were being looked into, he said.

The government had decided to evolve a focussed approach to find permanent solutions to the problems of drinking water shortage and sanitation in rural areas . The process of carving out the new department would be completed soon so that development works could be taken up expeditiously, he said.
Transformer banks

The Minister said transformer banks would be set up at zilla panchayat level to enable electricity supply companies to ensure speedy replacement of faulty transformers. He said the transformer banks would have standby units so that whenever a transformer breaks down or get burnt due to lightning strike, short-circuit etc., it could be replaced in the shortest possible time.

Mr. Patil said the RDPR Department had decided to install 2,000 Shuddha Neeru (water purification) units in rural areas during the current financial year. These units were being installed in villages where water sources had been contaminated.

The demand for Shuddha Neeru units appears to be on the rise with several MLAs from north Karnataka region requesting the RDPR Minister to install them in villages. He said MLAs were willing to contribute 30 to 35 per cent of the total cost of the purification units from the MLA Local Area Development Fund, and the rest had to be borne by the State government.

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