In a country ranked poorly for the drinking water supply, Punjab is heading towards achieving 100 per cent target of providing drinking water supply as the state government is claiming 99.96 per cent population under the coverage of drinking water supply till date.

Though the state government has taken many initiatives in every department, but the achievement and implementation is a distant dream, it is learnt.

In Governor’s address during an ongoing budget session of Punjab Assembly is was stated that the government has added 18.76 Lakh household water connections in past one year.

The government has also provided round the clock water supply in 107 schemes and have handed over 4,948 village drinking water schemes to gram panchayats (village councils).

The government has installed 2,257 Reserve Osmosis (RO) systems in the rural areas of the state under a National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) funded project. In the year 2018-19, another 153 RO plants will be installed.

Similarly, the government is installing Arsenic or Fluoride removal plants in 429 most severely contaminated habitations in the state.

Also, under Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) the state government has provided financial assistance to beneficiaries fir construction of 2,39,219 individual toilets. Sanitation coverage in rural areas of the state has increased free from open defecation.

The state government has also planned to provide water supply, sewerage and solid waste management facilities to the entire urban population.

A project with financial assistance from HUDCO is being launched in urban local bodies for providing the required infrastructure, it was stated in the Assembly.

Likewise, under the smart cities mission, major projects amounting to Rs 1,043 Crore for Ludhiana, Rs 840 Crore for Amritsar and Rs 1,133 Crore for Jalandhar have been identified.

Also, 16 cities of Punjab with a population of more than one Lakh were selected under AMRUT scheme for up-gradation of infrastructure works such as water supply, sewerage works and parks.

Projects amounting to Rs 2,766 Crore will be implemented as these have been approved.

Adding to it, the state government has notified 15 new local planning areas in past one year.

The work of digitisation of master plans has started and 10 master plans have been already digitised. An electronic system for granting change of Land Use (E-CLU) has been successfully started on a pilot basis and is now being extended to all digitised master plans.

The state government has also planned to introduce e-licensing of colonies in 2018. Commenting on the state government’s plans, Punjab Bharatiya Janata Party Secretary Vineet Joshi said that the state government is serving old wine in new bottles. “There is nothing new on the development front.