Early Times Report
Srinagar, May 3: Though the Central government has directed Jammu and Kashmir to go for geotagging of all water supply schemes executed since 2009, the authorities have so far failed to complete the process.
The step was taken to monitor projects completed or being implemented under the Central National Rural Drinking Water Programme, aimed at providing potable drinking water to the people in the rural areas.
Sources said that the Jammu and Kashmir government was informed that geo-tagging of assets is being made mandatory from the year 2017-18 of all possible components of the piped water supply schemes such as source; water treatment plant; storage tanks; stand posts and major nodes in conveying pipe network etc.
However sources told early times that though geotagging, a process to add geographical identification such as latitude and longitude with photograph to give the location-specific information online, was started by the PHE department, but still most of the schemes have been left without geotagging.
"If it could be done in a time bound manner, it will be a major step to study the impact of schemes and monitor the funds sanctioned by the Centre in the past one decade," said one of the government officials.
Sources said that following criticism over poor implementation and utilization of funds under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, the Central government had directed Jammu and Kashmir to go for geotagging and create an online database of all water supply schemes executed since 2009. Sources said that most of the centrally funded schemes have been marred by nepotism, corruption and delays in completing projects under the successive governments in the state.
Sources said that in most of the water supply schemes in the state, there are no monitoring to understand the flow of funds and transparency in the system. As per the Census 2011, J&K has a rural population of 91.8 lakh, who lives in 15,958 habitations. The total requirement of water is 147.72 Million Gallon Daily (MGD) but the installed capacity is only 92.13 MGD, leaving a deficit of 55.59 MGD. This was expected to be met under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, but not much has been achieved.
One of the top officials of PHE department said: "Geotagging of all the centrally schemes will be done in the current year".
It is to mention here that the work on over 2000 water supply schemes is under implementation but most have been stopped due to lack of funding.
The number of incomplete and defunct water supply schemes continue to increase due to lack of funding and depletion of resources in the state.
An official document of ministry of drinking water and sanitation reveals that there are 2,004 piped water supply (PWS) schemes under various stages of implementation in the state.
Out of these, 786 are multi-village PWS, 507 are single village PWS, and 711 tube wells, hand pumps.
However, work has been either been stopped or going at slow pace in 1,600 water supply schemes for want of funding, an official of Public Health Engineering Department, said.