About 23 per cent of the Central funds allocated for rural drinking water programme in Gujarat in the past one year has remained unspent, Union Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Bharatsinh Solanki said on Friday.
“Under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP), the total available funds with the Gujarat government during 2012-13 was Rs 1,045 crore. Of this, Rs 247 crore remained unspent,” said Solanki, on the sidelines of WaterTech Expo.
“Last year, we had also made an additional allocation of Rs 150 crore for Gujarat,” said Solanki, indirectly hitting out at Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s public statements, accusing the UPA government of showing step-motherly attitude towards states like Gujarat by not providing enough funds for projects.
The Union minister pointed out that the UPA government had already made an initial allocation of Rs 526 crore for NRDWP projects in Gujarat for 2013-14, of which Rs 85 crore had been released to the state under the NRDWP, where the Central government gives financial and technical assistance to the states, for providing adequate and safe drinking water to the population in the rural areas.
“Provision of adequate and safe drinking water supply in rural areas is one of the fundamental responsibilities of the governments, both at the state, as well as the Central levels,” Solanki remarked in his address at the event earlier in the day.
“Over the past decade, we have had hiked investment in the drinking water supply sector. For rural areas, investments have increased from about Rs 2000 crore in 2002-03 to Rs 11,000 crore in 2013-14,” Solanki said.