An innovative cost-effective drinking water project is in underway to provide safe drinking water to the people of Bihar by the end of 2020. The name of the project is ‘Neer Nirmal Pariyojana’ which is being executed in different phases addressed by Public Health Engineering Department (PHED). The scheme has been launched in Bihar, UP, Assam and Jharkhand. Under this project, the contaminated water will be converted into safe drinking water. The PHED officials claimed that 70 litres of water per person would be provided everyday to each household under this project.
This project has been initiated with an estimated outlay of Rs.1606 crores funded by World Bank. Beside this, a loan of Rs.2400 crores has also been sanctioned by the Asian Development Bank for supplying Iron-free water.
Addressing a seminar, Public Health Engineering Department Minister Vinod Narayan Jha said lab tests have found arsenic traces in groundwater of 5246 wards in Bihar. “In the first phase in the current fiscal, the government will ensure arsenic-free safe drinking water in 2556 wards and In the remaining wards, work will be carried out in the next fiscal.”
“The project seeks to correct the water supply situation by emphasizing the involvement of panchayati raj institutions and communities in planning, implementing and managing drinking water supply schemes. It also aims at creating awareness about groundwater depletion and bringing into practice rainwater harvesting.” Said Jitendra Srivastav, secretary of PHED.
This project also promises to lower the price of one litre bottle to 50 paise. The new water purification process will cost around Rs. 20 lakhs with the capacity to produce 8000 litres of portable water at a nominal cost.
The motto behind this initiative is to raise awareness about maintaining hygiene and consuming clean drinking water.