Rural Water Supply
(1) A Large segment of the population (61 per cent) in Maharashtra lives in the rural areas in 43,020 villages. The rural drinking water supply programme is a part of the ''20-Point Programme'' as well as the ''National Basic Minimum Services'' and the ''Prime Minister's Gramodaya Yojana'' Drinking water in rural area is being provided by Piped Water Supply schemes, Bore Wells and Dug Wells depending on the Source of water, terrain and population of the villages.
(2) As the entire State receives rainfall only for four months, water retained underground and in the form of dams, rivers and canals is used during the remaining eight months. Extreme exploitation of the underground water has resulted in depletion of the water sources, leading to scarcity. The only solution to the problem of this nature is to conserve water on watershed basis, preferably with village as a unit. The availability of water is further complicated by the presence of salts in excessive quantities, fluoride, arsenic, iron, and other toxic elements or biologically contaminated in natural water reservoirs at some places. In the background of these constraints, it is the endeavour of the State Government to exploit all the feasible water resources, which are comparatively permanent in nature.
(3) A study group appointed by Govt. to study and recommend ways and means to implement Water Supply & Sanitation Programme during Tenth Five Year Plan, has recommended that -
Government may consider sanctioning more grants for construction of individual latrines. To motivate people to make use of latrines and other hygiene Govt. should implement the Sant Gadgebaba Clean Village Abhiyan Permanently.
- The villages/wadis not tackled upto the end of Ninth Five Year Plan and those villages/wadis where water has been chemically polluted, should be tacked on priority.
- The capital expenditure for providing more water above the prescribed norms and in respect of house connection, should be borne entirely by the beneficiaries.
- Where it is practicable to take maximum decisions in respect of the programme, by Gramsabha, a provision should be made in the Act and in the Administrative rules.
- The programme of strengthening of water sources, their recharging though various methods and rain water harvesting should be implemented through people's participation. Sufficient provisions should also be made in the budget.
- Necessary amendments should be made in the Ground Water Act, 1993 to delegate some of the powers given to collectors under the Act to the Gramsabhas.
- For maintenance and repairs of the schemes the local bodies should increase the water taxes in stages and should provide funds from their other sources.
- At public places, latrine complexes should be provided particularly for women. Also in every school separate toilets should be provided for boys and girls.
(4) According to the revised policy now this programme has been implemented on the basis of demand and people's participation. Accordingly the beneficiaries demand for such scheme through Gramsabha, which is technically and managerially affordable and acceptable to them. The beneficiaries has to pay 10% capital cost as popular contribution and should borne 100% expenditure towards operation and maintenance of the scheme. A village water supply and sanitation committee has to be constituted for implementation and operation of the scheme.
Dug well and Bore Well Programme & Piped Water Supply Schemes costing upto Rs. 75.00 Lakh are being executed by the Zilla Parishads. Piped Water Schemes costing more than Rs. 75.00 Lakh will execcuted by Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran.
(5) Operation and maintenance of the schemes is the responsibility of the Village Panchayats/Zilla Parishads. For this purpose the Village Panchayats/Zilla Parishads raises funds by levying water tax and from own its resources. The ''Maintenance & Repairs Fund'' created by Government at the District level is being operated bythe respective Zilla Parishad. Every Zilla Parishad is required to credit 20% of its income in this fund every year. In addition from 2000-2001 15% of the budgeted provision under Rural Water Supply & 15% to total allocation to be received from Central Government under A.R.W.S.P. is provided by the State Government to the Zilla Parishads for this fund. Also at village level a separate ''Village Water Supply Fund'' has been created in each Village Panchayat. In this fund 35% of the grants against land revenue & general and private water cess in respect of the water supply schemes is to be credited. However, as per new guidelines of Government of India, 100% expenditure of Maintenance & Repairs of Water Supply Scheme has to be borne by the beneficiaries. In addition, the State Government reimburses 50% of the expenditure incurred on account of electric charges and on TCL powder, required for purification of water by the Gram Panchayat/Zilla Parishad in respect Water Supply Schemes.
(6) According to the survey conducted during 2003-04 47043 Villages/Wadis are found problematic. Out of these 21,387 villages/wadis are to tackled through Minimum Need Programme. ARWSP, Swajaldhara Scheme and External Aided Projects. Excluding House 25,656 Villages/Wadies are yet to be takled. Total fund of Rs.5486.53 lakh is necessary upto 2014-15 for all the 47,043 villages/ wadies.
(7) State Government has accepted the guidelines of Government of India, norms for selection of Villages/Habitations and priority for coverage of Villages/Habitations as follows:
(A) Norms for selection of Villages/Habitations:
- Villages/Habitants not having water sources within 1.6 km. distance in plain area and 100 meters distance in hilly area.
- Villages/Habitations having water source but contaminated by excess salinity, iron, fluoride, arsenic or other toxic elements or biologically contaminated source.
- Villages/Habitations having availability of safe drinking water however not as per norms (less than 40 lpcd).
(B) Priority for coverage of Villages/Habitations:-
- Villages/Habitations exclusively inhabited by SC/ST or having larger SC/ST population as enumerated in the Status Report of 1994 (Survey) and re surveyed in 1996-97.
- Coverage of Villages/Habitations getting contaminated, toxic water to be covered first and rest later.
- Villages/Habitants receiving less than 40 lpcd water to be brought to level of 40 lpcd.
Coverage of Schools/Anganwadies without drinking water facility.
Total outlay of Rs.5486.53 Lakhs has been provided for the villages/wadies in the Tribal areas for the year 2014-15