The Union government said on Friday that a Fluoride Mitigation Centre would be set up in Gujarat, even as the Gujarat state government sought financial assistance from Centre to meet increased demand for drinking water in tribal areas under the group water supply scheme.
The announcement regarding the Centre was made by Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh at the Conference of State Ministers and Secretaries in-charge of Rural Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, in New Delhi. The announcement was welcomed by state water supply minister Nitin Patel.
Addressing the conference later, Patel pressed for financial assistance from the centre to meet increased demand for drinking water in tribal areas under the group water supply scheme. “The Union government should also give special fund to the state for supplying clear drinking water to the population residing nearby urban areas,” he said.
Patel said that drinking water is provided in tribal areas through hand pumps, but with rising demand, the supply is required to be made through group water supply scheme. He said that Gujarat state government has already sanctioned Rs960 crore for the proposed scheme, and urged the Centre to provide 50% percent financial assistance.
The Gujarat state minister told the conference that the Gujarat state government has taken various short-term as well as long-term measures to address drinking water scarcity.Patel said that Gujarat had successfully implemented the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in water supply sector. He said that 17,790 water committees are functional in the state and 8,696 village scheme works have been completed for drinking water security.