Update on dams, options & related issues sandrp issue four june 2002

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World Bank in Monitoring RWS The Water and Sanitation Program-South Asia of the World Bank is providing support to the govt. of India’s Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission to develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation system. The Mission is implementing a Sector Reforms Project in Rural Water Supply aimed at institutionalizing community participation in planning, implementing, operating and maintaining RWSS. (THE TIMES OF INDIA 140302)
Villagers boycott the ballot The villagers of Malegaon Theka in Wardha district have boycotted the election process in the recently concluded Jila Parishad and Arvi Assembly by poll. Surrounded by five big or middle-sized irrigation dams (Bor, Mahakali, Borkhedi, Panchadhara and Madan, all in the radius of 10 km, with the last one just 2 km away), they have no water for their farms as village is at an elevated level. 15% people have migrated in the past few years. (THE INDIAN EXPRESS 030302)
German aid for Rajasthan Rajasthan has so far received 95 M DM (about Rs 19 B) – DM 55 M grant & the rest loan - from Germany for supplying drinking water from the Indira Gandhi Canal to 141 villages in Churu, Jhunjhunu and Hanumangarh districts. (THE HINDU 020302)
Water crisis grips Karnataka districts The villages in nearly 40 % of the 175 taluks in Karnataka are to witness shortage of drinking water in the coming months, the drought-monitoring Cell has predicted. The monsoon shortfall witnessed last year is considered to be the worst in the last 30 years. (BUSINESS LINE 160302)

WB Credit for Karnataka The 6-year $ 151.6 M Credit for rural water supply & sanitation project is supposed to assist in increasing rural communities’ access drinking water & sanitation services; decentralisation to gram panchayats and user groups. (ECONOMIC TIMES 090302)


1. Power Finance, Financial Institutions in India’s Hydropower Sector, By Peter Bosshard, Published in India by SANDRP, March 2002, pp 132, Rs. 100/-

2. Bade Bandh, Bharat ka Anubhav Hindi Translation of WCD India Country study, By R Rangachari, Nirmal Sengupta, Ramaswamy Iyer, Pranab Banerji & Shekhar Singh, SANDRP, 2001, pp 268, Rs. 100/-.

3. The Drought, the State and the People: An Experience in Gujarat SANDRP Dossier on Gujarat Drought 2000, Edited by Sanjay Sangvai, pp 90, Rs. 75/-.

4. Large Dams and Their Alternatives: South Asia Consultation Dossier on WCD South Asia Public Hearing, 1999, pp 166, Rs. 100/-.

5. Report of the Daud Committee on Sardar Sarovar Displaced, Govt. of Maharashtra, SANDRP a co-publisher, pp 54, Rs. 30/-.

6. Dam Vs Drinking Water: Exploring the Supreme Court Narmada Judgement, by L C Jain, Parisar Publication, 2001, pp 131, Price Rs. 75/-.

7. Proceedings of the Consultation on the Report of the World Commission on Dams, Ranchi 7-8 August, 2001, Edited by DK Mishra, Barh Mukti Abhiyan, Oct. 2001, Rs. 40/-.

8. Testimonies from the Ground: A Report on Tehri Rehabilitation by Vimal Bhai and Preeti Sampat, SANDRP, Nov. 2001, pp 35, Rs. 20/-

Please send your orders with check/ DD in favour of YUVA, payable at Mumbai and send them to SANDRP, c/o 53B, AD block, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi 110 088. Add Rs. 15/- for check realization charges if check is drawn on a bank outside Mumbai. Add Rs. 20/- for postage and packing charges for all publications.

Recommendations (Extracts)
Parliamentary Standing committee on Urban and Rural Development (2002)

Ministry of Rural development

(Department of Drinking Water Supply)

Demands for grants: 2002-2003

Thirty Second Report
2.16 The committee finds that there are certain disturbing features with regard to the implementation of one of the top most priority programmes of the Govt. i.e. to provide potable drinking water to the rural population. The shortcomings as noticed by the committee are as below.

  1. The availability of the funds is less than one third of the estimated requirement in the comprehensive action plan. In view of the inadequate allocation, the committee expresses their doubt about the fulfillment of the set targets in the National Agenda for Governance of coverage of all rural habitations by 2004.

  2. Not only inadequate allocation to the Department, but what is provided at BE stage is reduced at RE stage.

  3. Whatever allocation is provided it is not being meaningfully utilised. There is huge underspending as regards the release of funds by the Centre to State Govts. Besides, the position is alarming when the States’ physical and financial progress is analysed.

  4. There is huge underspending with the State Govts.

2.17 The Committee feels that under-utlilisation of resource is the main reason for getting the lesser allocation for Planning Commission/Ministry of Finance. Besides the Members find that the Department is not serious in the reasons for the dismal performance of such an important programme. Whenever asked about the reasons for slippage of targets, routine reply stating that NC and PC habitations are located in the difficult terrain etc. is furnished. The committee has been receiving this type of reply for the last two three years. This shows the casual approach of the Govt. Further, they are unhappy to note the reply of the Govt. that underspending is due to surrendering of Rs 61.82 crore to non-lapsable pool of resources for North-East. Besides, the Committee finds that the targets set during each of the year are somehow unrealistic. The Department has set the targets to cover 17,479 NC habitations, whereas they could cover 6,655 and 1,627 habitations during 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 respectively.

2.19 The committee finds that the actual ground reality in respect of coverage of habitations is something different. They have repeatedly been stressing on the Govt. to find out the ground reality by conducting survey by independent agencies. Besides they have also been recommending to have some in built mechanism for such survey after a fixed period of time. They find that the Department has agreed for such a survey after a period of five years. They hope that such a survey will be started very soon. They would also like that position of slippage of FCs category to NC and PC categories and PC to NC category is also taken care of during the said survey.
2.23 It is really a matter of concern that after more than five decades of independence and the plan development in the country, most of our school are yet to be provided the facility of drinking water, which is the basic necessity of life. The Department’s claim to cover all the habitations by 2002-2003 by providing drinking water seems unrealistic when the overall position of coverage of schools is analysed. Even if the Govt.’s data is believed, about 44% of the schools could only be provided drinking water so far. They also find that the data as given by the Department may be only of Govt schools. When the data regarding other schools i.e. private and public included, the situation may be further alarming, while the school coverage was taken into consideration under ARWSP since 1999-2002, the performance is very dismal. The Committee strongly recommends that all the schools should be provided drinking water within minimum possible time.

2.29 The Committee finds that the projection of 10th Plan in respect of proposed targets under drinking water supply programme are three times of what was allocated during 9th Plan. The Committee has their doubts about getting the adequate allocation from the Govt. The actual allocation during the first year of 10th Plan is an example in this regard. The Govt has provided nearly one-third of what was projected during 2002-2003. If similar trend is followed, the Department would be getting more or less the same of what they got during 9th Plan. There is doubt in achieving the laudable targets set during 10th Plan. The Committee, therefore, urges Govt to persuade the Planning Commission/Ministry of Finance to accept the urgency of providing adequate outlay for this sector. As stated by the Secretary during the course of oral evidence some efforts are being made to get the funds from various international agencies like World Bank.

2.35 The various issues with regard to providing drinking water to rural masses were discussed in the recent Conference of State Ministers in charge of rural drinking water supply and various valuable recommendations were made in this regard. One of the recommendations was to revise the norms, which were fixed years back during 1972-1973. While recommending for revision of the said norms, the Committee would like the first priority is accorded to cover all rural habitations within the existing norms.
2.48 The Committee is concerned to note the dismal performance of Sector Reform pilot projects as could be seen from data given by the Department. They fail to understand how the Department could be contended with such slow progress of the pilot districts.
2.49 The Committee finds that the Secretary during the course of oral evidence has acknowledged that to make these pilot projects successful, there is a need to change the mind set of the people.
2.59 The Committee is disturbed to note the position of availability of the drinking water in various schools in North-East, as acknowledged by the Secretary, very few schools could be provided with the drinking water facility.

2.77 The Committee observes that ensuring sustainability of drinking water sources is the major challenge that has to be faced by the country in the coming years. Due to uncontrolled extraction of Groundwater in various parts of the country, water table has reached a precarious situation. They also note that the various Centrally sponsored schemes depend totally on ground water. More stress to be given to alternate sources of water like, maintaining traditional sources of water and rainwater harvesting, etc. While noting that some of the states have done excellent work in this regard, specifically Mizoram, the Committee urges the Govt. to make the other States aware of the success stories of these States.

2.79 The Committee finds that the problem sustainability of water resources is being tackled by different Central Ministries like rural Development, Agriculture, Water Resources. They recommended that the Department of Drinking Water should coordinate with these Ministries.
2.82 As regards the quality of drinking water, the Committee finds that sufficient attention is not being paid in this regard. They are constrained to find the huge number of water treatment plants going defunct. They also recommend that further emphasis should be given for having a mobile water-testing laboratory in each district in the country.
2.83 While going through the data furnished by the Department with regard to the expenditure made during 8th and 9th Plan on sub-mission programmes to tackle quality problem, the Committee concludes that much emphasis is not being given in this regard. They also find that 10th plan Working Group has recommended for Rs 10 000 crore exclusively to deal with quality problem in drinking water.
2.84 The Committee notes that in Rajasthan, to tackle the quality problem on a temporary basis, domestic water filters have been provided under ARWSP.
2.85 the Committee is concerned to note that there is no research institute in nodal laboratory dealing exclusively with water quality R&D. they also note that the Government have proposed to set-up a Centre for Excellence for arsenic in Kolkata.

2.86 The Committee finds that a major pollutant of drinking water is fluoride. To tackle this problem adequate steps have not been taken by the Govt. They would like to recommend that the Govt. should set-up a fluorisis control cell at the Central level comprising of officials of both Rural and Urban Ministry and other concerned Ministries like Health, Water Resources.

2.102 Regarding the system of monitoring of rural drinking water supply programme, the Committee would like to recommend that the Department should think of devising a mechanism of having periodic meetings of concerned Union Ministers alongwith Central officials. They should also think of inviting MPs/MLAs of the State at the said meetings.
2.110 The Committee is also unhappy of the manner in which the Government instead of improving of existing schemes and consolidating their gains, if any, go on launching new schemes which again suffer for want of proper infrastructure are admitted by the Government in their written note.
3.16 Though the Committee has repeatedly been recommending that the Central Rural Sanitation Programme be given more importance and adequate outlay should be provided for the purpose, the following facts speak otherwise:

  1. the targets fixed during 10th Plan to cover 50% of the population in the rural areas were reduced to 25%;

  2. The outlay provided during 2002-03, the first year of 10th Plan is nearly 1/5th of the proposed outlay;

  3. From 2000 onwards the number of toilets constructed is showing a downward trend

  4. Only around 9% of the schools could provided with lavatory facilities and out of that only one half of the schools could be provided separate toilets for girls;

School sanitation is a hygienic aspect of the national health of the younger generation. However, the attention given to it has not been to the optimum level. It is disheartening to note that the Govt. is playing with statistics only, whereas on the ground, very negligible work has been done. A school without a toilet and washing facilities is unthinkable and below any civilised norms of the society.

Thousands of Gujarat villages to go thirsty The worst affected districts include Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Amreli and Jamnagar in Saurashtra region and Banaskantha, Patan and Mehsana in north Gujarat. In Amreli, 400 of 613 villages are dependent on tanker water. In Rajkot, by mid May, 700 of 976 villages will be facing scarcity. In Porbandar district, 65 of 155 villages are already dependent on tankers. Across Saurashtra, some 3200 villages are already dependent on tankers. The govt has so far spent more than Rs 30 B on laying two major pipelines for Saurashtra, which is yet to bring any benefits. State Water Supply Minister claims it would solve drinking water problem of over 3500 villages. He said Rs 85 B will be spent on these projects in the next 2-3 years.

  • Narmada waters for Ahmedabad, none for Saurashtra villages The Saurashtra villages continue to face drinking water scarcity even as Narmada waters are available to big towns like Ahmedabad. This when the Narmada project was pushed and justified in the name of Saurashtra and Kutch and there was supposed to be NO ALLOCATION for towns like Ahmedabad from drinking water share of SSP. (THE TIMES OF INDIA-A 170402, INDIAN EXPRESS 270402)

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