With reports of water scarcity in certain pockets of the state coming in, the state government today issued firm instructions to collectors, officers of PRI and drinking water supply department that there should be “no scarcity of drinking wter either actual or perceived” during summer.

Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi set the benchmark for drinking water supply both for rural and urban areas during the summer and issued the directive today during a video conference with district officers.

Principal Secretary Panchayati Raj, Mr Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh and Secretary Housing & Urban Development G. Mathivathanan outlined the district wise position for review.

Mr Padhi said, “Collectors have been delegated with all powers for drilling of new tube wells, sanitary wells and repair & maintenance of all drinking water sources. Sufficient fund have been kept in respective Panchayats for the purposes. The rate contract for procurement of spare parts has also been finalised. There is a bloc level committee under the chairmanship of BDO for procurement of materials. Collectors should pull these resources and ensure adequate supply of drinking water in all areas”.

Mr Singh informed that the government had issued instructions in February regarding drinking water management in scarcity areas. “Making the existing sources functional is more important than creating new sources,” he said.

Collectors were asked to engage mobile repair vans in each bloc to restore defunct sources.

The district and bloc officers were further asked to engage water tankers in most difficult areas where the interventions cited above are not adequate to cater the drinking water need.Supply should be twice a day during morning and evening hours.

“All blocs will designate nodal officers for each panchayat and there would be a 24 hour control room at the block level,”said Mr Singh. The district collector will take the review every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.

All districts have been asked to send the report to government on drinking water situation by wednesday afternoon every week. Mr Mathivathnan made it clear that control rooms should start functioning from today in all ULBs.Ward level water and sanitation committees would be formed in each ULB.