1. Since May 2011, PHE Department, Govt. of West Bengal has brought about a paradigm shift in arena of safe drinking water supply for the rural population of Bengal.
2. The first major initiative of the present Government is the preparation of VISION, 2020 document with both short-term and long-term planning at an estimated cost of Rs 1,295 Crores and Rs 21,125 Crores respectively.
3. This Government, for the first time, has given special attention to the people of Jangalmahal area (District Purulia, Bankura and Paschim Medinipur) by sanctioning of 50 nos. of Piped Water Supply Schemes with an estimated cost of Rs. 141.70 Crores to cover a population of 3.14 lakh (Census 2001). As on 31/08/2014, 47 nos. of schemes have been commissioned and remaining three schemes are at an advanced stage of completion and expected to be completed by December 2014.
4. In District of Bankura that falls under arid zone and where drinking water is scarce, a comprehensive water supply scheme has been taken up under Bankura Phase-I Water Supply Project, covering 14 blocks, at a sanctioned cost of Rs. 1,011.12 Crores under Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) aiming to cover a design population of 30.15 lakh. Work at field for implementation of piped water supply schemes have already been started and physical progress to the tune of 45% have already been achieved in 2013-14 and it is expected that the project to be partly commissioned by March 2015.
5. For comprehensive water supply coverage, special initiative has been taken for Purulia District and water supply project for Rs 1,017.90 Crores aiming at covering a design population of 15.14 lakh has been sanctioned with funding under JICA Mission, Japan. The work shall be commencing very soon.
6. The long pending problem of raw water requirement for New Town, Kolkata Nabadiganta, Salt Lake, South Dum Dum Municipality and Arsenic affected rural areas of Haroa and Rajarhat areas of North 24 Parganas District has been resolved by taking up a project at an estimated cost of Rs 348.37 Crores.
7. In order to provide better amenities to a section of the rural population, “house to house” connection of water supply is being provided from a number of existing as well as new water supply schemes and attempts are being made to bring more and more schemes under such coverage. So far, 1,17,767 house connections have been extended through the piped water supply schemes (August 2014).
8. During the period from May, 2011 up till August, 2014, 412 nos. of piped water supply schemes have been sanctioned with an estimated cost of Rs. 6,008.59 Crores to cover a population of 1,21,55,795 (Census, 2011). During such period coverage of Rural Population through Piped Water facility has enhanced from 37.95% to 44.12%. Further, approximately 31,191 nos. spot sources have been created during the period.
9. In South 24 Paraganas district another big Surface Water Based Water Supply Scheme for saline affected areas of Falta-Mathurapur and adjoining 9 (nine) Blocks has been taken up at a sanctioned cost of Rs. 1,332.41 Crores aiming to cover a design population of 32.89 lakh in 902 mouzas of 10 blocks in the District and field work has been started and work has already been started for Intake jetty and Water Treatment Plant (WTP).
10. Surface Water based Water Supply Scheme for Panskura-II Block based on River Subarnarekha as source has been sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs. 241.72 Crores to cover 112 no. of mouzas and 1 Census Town in Panskura-II Block in Purba Medinipur.
11. Bally-Jagacha Surface Water Based Project has been taken up at an estimated cost of Rs. 150.68 Crores in the saline blocks of Bally-Jagacha areas of Howrah District covering 6 (six) nos. of census towns (Bally, Chakapara, Chamrail, Eksara, Jagadishpur & Khalia) covering a design population of 2.86 lakh. The initial work of the project has already started.
12. This Department is also emphasizing on use of renewable energy sources. For that purpose, 2 (two) Solar Power Based Water Supply Schemes for Shridharkati, Block-Hingalgunj, North 24 Parganas with an estimated cost of Rs. 63.53 Crores and Kamakhyapur, at Sunderban Island [covering 10 Villages, and Design Populations 3,81,781] have been technically sanctioned. In addition to above, work for another 704 nos. of solar power based dual Piped Water Supply Schemes in the districts of Bankura, Paschim Medinipur and Purulia have already been started at an estimated cost of Rs. 51.67 Crores.
13. This Department is consistently paying special attention on Water Quality Surveillance and Monitoring through existing 120 nos. of water testing laboratories. To strengthen the facility, a project for establishing furthermore 100 nos. water quality monitoring laboratories has been taken up at an estimated cost of about Rs. 37 Crores and al the laboratories will be functional within 2014.
14. PHE Department has a very strong workforce to tackle the drinking water crisis due to disaster caused by flood or drought. PHE Department has 13 (thirteen) Mobile Treatment Units in its possession which are utilized for supply of safe drinking water during disaster or emergency situation. In all the Mobile Treatment Units there is a provision of instant packaging of treated water in polythene packets and are extremely beneficial in providing and distributing safe drinking water to the suffering people during flood and other natural calamities. During 2013-14, about 89.65 lakhs pouched / bottled drinking water was disbursed to various public gatherings, melas and emergency purposes.
15. PHE Department is implementing 8 (eight) nos. of Drinking Water Bottling Plants in South 24 Parganas, Silguri, Cochbehar, Malda, Murshidabad, Purbasthali, Haringhata and Barrackpore with an estimated cost of Rs. 42.82 Crores to cater to the emergency situations like drought, flood and to ensure safe drinking water to the gathering of people in different occasions like mela etc. 4 (four) such Water Bottling Plants at South 24 Paraganas; Haringhata, Nadia; Purbasthali, Bardhaman and Lalbag, Murshidabad have already been completed and are in production process. Production process for the other 4 (four) plants will commence very shortly.
16. It has been decided by the Government of India that the International Centre for Water Quality which will be the First Institute of its kind in India will be set up at Kolkata. Govt. of West Bengal has already provided 8.72 acres of land at Joka for the same and works have been taken up at field.
17. A special campaign on “National Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation Week” was observed by the State between 20th and 25th February, 2014. The campaign aimed at reaching out to every individual household with messages on safe drinking water and sanitation. Departments of Panchayat & Rural Development and Public Health Engineering, Govt. Of West Bengal together launched the state wide campaign for encouraging community and all stakeholders to work towards the goal in a mission mode.
1. The 2nd Phase of Bankura Water Supply Project, designed to cover rural population in 8 (eight) Blocks namely Mejia, Gangajalghati, Indpur, Taldangra, Joypur, Kotulpur, Patrasayar and Sonamukhi at an estimated cost of Rs. 690.74 Crores is likely to be sanctioned in 2014- 15 under BRGF.
2. Augmentation of Water Supply Scheme for Siliguri Municipal Corporation and en-route rural areas has been planned at an estimated cost of Rs. 303.92 Crores.
3. In order to provide sweet water to the people of the Salinity affected areas of the State a holistic approach has been initiated by the Department for construction of 15 MLD capacity desalination plant at Digha, Dist. Purba Medinipur at an estimated cost of Rs. 225.64 Crores to cover 2.18 lakh populations in 156 mouzas of Ramnagar-I & II block. Another plant of capacity 10 MLD with an estimated cost Rs 194.97 Crores will also be taken up at Basirhat Block in North 24 Parganas to cover 1.23 lakh populations in 22 mouzas of Basirhat-I block. On successful commissioning of such desalination plant, it will be replicated in other saline areas of the State.
4. A comprehensive action plan on fluoride mitigation has been prepared at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,580.00 Crores which shall be executed in a phased manner in 43 Fluoride affected Blocks of 7 Districts namely Birbhum, Bankura, Dakshin Dinajpur, Uttar Dinajpur, Purulia, Malda and South 24 Parganas.
5. Surface water based piped water supply scheme namely Habra-Gaighata in arsenic affected areas of North 24 Parganas has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 578.94 Crores, covering a population of 18.04 lakh in 327 mouzas.
6. A sub-Surface water based piped water supply scheme for the entire Gangarampur block in Dakshin Dinajpur district has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 182.19 Crores to mitigate the Fluoride contamination which will benefit a population of 2.07 lakh in 203 mouzas.
7. A sub-Surface water based piped water supply scheme for the entire Tapan block in Dakshin Dinajpur district has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 165.50 Crores to mitigate the Fluoride contamination which will benefit a population of 3.21 lakh in 279 mouzas.