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UP plans Rs 3,000 crore piped water project in Bundelkhand

New Delhi: People living in Bundelkhand and Vindhya regions in Uttar Pradesh, which are among the most water-scarce areas in the country, may get piped water supply at homes next year, thanks to a Rs 3,000-crore project being rolled out by the state government.

The Yogi Adityanath government on Tuesday invited bids from private consultants to help draw up a plan and select companies to execute a project to take piped water to nine most water-deficient districts in Bundelkhand and Vindhya regions.

Water table has shrunk significantly in these areas bordering Madhya Pradesh and people are forced to walk miles to get a pitcher of water, officials said. Deaths of people as well as animals like cattle due to scarcity of water are rampant, too.

“As per Government of India strategic plan for 2011-2022, 90% of the rural population in the country has to be benefited with the pipe water supply. However as on date, approximately only 10% rural population of UP is covered with pipe water supply schemes,” reads the brief given to prospective consultants.

ET has viewed a copy of the same.

Uttar Pradesh will first roll out the project in the districts of Jhansi, Banda, Chitrakoot, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Lalitpur and Mohaba in Bundelkhand and Sonbhadra and Mirzapur in Vindhya region, and later will expand this to the arsenic/ fluoride and acute encephalitis (AES) affected districts where lack of clean drinking water leads to deaths.

The selected consultants will need to cluster projects for contracting, prepare bid documents, float bids, and help the UP water and sanitation mission evaluate bids, award contracts and select project implementation agencies. The consultants will also supervise the construction and ensure quality control in the water supply works. The consultant will carry out surveys, conduct a situational analysis with respect to availability of water, analyse the quality of ground and surface water, and look at the feasibility of use of solar energy in this project.

This state government project, along with the Atal Bhujal Yojana launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week, is expected to address water crisis issue in Bundelkhand as one scheme will bring piped water to households while the other will address the dipping ground-water situation, senior government officials told ET.

The Atal Bhujal Yojana, with a total outlay of Rs 6,000 crore from 2020 to 2025, aims at participatory ground-water management in 78 districts of seven states, including the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The World Bank is funding this project.

The Madhya Pradesh government is also being pushed to address water scarcity in the Bundelkhand region which falls in its boundaries in districts like Chhatarpur, Damoh, Datia, Panna, Sagar and Tikamgarh.

The Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh plans to propose to the Centre that a scheme be formed to link rivers to village ponds to solve the problem of drought and ensure water is available all year-round. “The priority is to prevent drought and deaths due to shortage of water,” a state official said.

Coordination between the Centre and the state governments of UP and MP will be key for addressing the issue of water scarcity in the Bundelkhand region.

Source: Economic Times