JODHPUR: Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Wednesday said that seven lakh water bodies were being restored this year in the country despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the work on 4.52 lakh such bodies has already been completed while the work on the rest of them is in progress.
While addressing the event digitally from Udaipur, he described it as an important program to connect with the soil of the country.
“There are many examples where a single person, an organisation, a group, gram panchayats, public representatives or government strived on its own and achieved success in turning their village or area water prosper,” Shekhawat said, acknowledging the role of village sarpanches in the country.
He said when a village turns water prosper, it does not only become water-reliant but brings a change in the entire eco-system of the area.
He said the present government has accorded water and sanitisation top priority with the last person in the mind.
“Our government has accorded top priority to drinking water and sanitisation. Rs 60,000 crores had been allocated by the 15th Finance Commission for Panchayati Raj institutions for this year only. Of this, 50 per cent has been aimed at providing drinking water facilities and ensuring cleanliness,” he said.
He added that at least Rs 15,000 crores would remain available to the states only for sanitisation this year.
Talking about the availability of drinking water in every home, Shekhawat said approximately one lakh families were being connected with drinking water facility per day under Jal Jeevan Mission.
“Work under Jal Jeevan Mission has been progressing fast. We have provided water to over two crores families in just one year,” he claimed.