New Delhi/Chandigarh: Drinking water in about 66,700 habitations across various states in the country is affected due to the presence of arsenic and fluorides, the Central government said on Monday. “There are 66,663 areas where drinking water is affected due to the presence of arsenic and fluorides,” Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar said in Rajya Sabha.
Maintaining that government was working to provide safe, clean drinking water and has evolved various schemes in this regard, he said piped drinking water would be provided to homes of 80 per cent population in the country by 2022. Replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour, he said drinking water is a state subject and the Centre supplemented the states’ efforts by providing them with technical and financial assistance through centrally-sponsored National Rural Drinking Water programme and other programmes.
Responding to charges that untreated water was being provided for drinking purposes, he said water is provided for drinking only after it is treated. “No water is provided for drinking purposes without treatment.”
The Minister said the Centre has evolved a special scheme for states where mining takes place and said the Niti Ayog has provided special funds to the tune of Rs 800 crore for improving drinking water in various states. As there are pockets in some other states as well, he said a special scheme of Rs 25,000 crore has been evolved, of which Rs 1,250 has been earmarked for this year and Rs 760 crore already released to states to ensure that clean drinking water is provided to the people. Tomar said small improvements like installation of 9,113 clean drinking water stations to provide drinkable water in different parts of the country.
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