In what could be a slight setback to the government’s programme to bring safe and adequate drinking water to all rural households, only around 67 per cent of the targets have been met under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) in 2012-13, as against the over 90 per cent achievement figures in the previous three financial years.
These figures, up to March 19, have been made available as part of a Parliament question by Bharatsinh Solanki, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry.
Up to March 19, only 95,794 rural habitations have been covered under the programme as against the target of 1,41,660. This figure is significantly less than that of the previous financial years.
In 2009-10, nearly 94 per cent of the targets were met; in the following year this figure rose to an impressive 98 per cent and in 2011-12, 95 per cent of targets under NRDWP were met.
While most states in 2012-13 achieved much less than their set targets, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal have exceeded their targets. States whose target achievement figures are the lowest include Uttar Pradesh (10.7 per cent), Bihar (50 per cent) and Jharkhand (45.8 per cent).
In terms of funds, while Rs 9,173 crore was released for the programme in 2012-13, around Rs 6,930 crore was spent. The allocation of funds for rural drinking water has been increased significantly from Rs 2,585 crore in 2004-05 to Rs 10,500 crore in 2012-13.
A ministry official, however, sought to clarify, “Sometimes states don’t update the data on time and hence, the figures may be low for this year.”