Manipur Public Health and Engineering department (PHED) Minister Leishangthem Susindro Meitei on Tuesday suggested making a new law to check and control the private water suppliers against unauthorised collection of pipe water which is provided for public use.
He gave the suggestion as an opinion while responding to a policy cut motion raised by opposition MLA Th Lokeshwar Singh during the discussion and voting on demand for grants in Public Health Engineering in the third session of 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.
The cut motion was raised on account of non-replacement of old distribution water pipes and the need to check and control private water suppliers.
Meghachandra also raised disapproval of policy cut motion in the same demand on account of ineffective implementation of Har Ghar Jal (House-to-House drinking water) under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
Responding to the policy cut motion, L Susindro said the department is putting two different pipelines; one for intake of water to the water reservoir which is the main water pipe and another one for distribution to the public for household use.
It is reported that some of the private water suppliers are getting water from the main pipeline which and due to the reason the department met difficulties while providing water to the public, he said. Even the intake point from the distribution line needs to be monitored as most of the public make the intake point from the lower portion of the distribution line, he added.
Some areas in Imphal where drinking water is provided through the pipelines from Singda water supply are facing issues on getting the water; however, the issue is less severe in other areas of the state, he mentioned.
He further said that the department is also taking up various initiatives to link the newly installed water pipeline from Chingkheiching to the Singda water supply line in order to solve the water issues in Imphal area. With the linking of water pipes from Chingkheiching, the water issue in Thangmeiband area could be solved in the next three-four days, he added.
Susindro further informed the House that laying of water pipes from Chingkhei Ching is under progress and with its completion the issue of water in Imphal area could be minimized.
He continued that a certain law was created in 1992 for monitoring of water pipe lines, but the law has become old and the government needs to make a new law with consent from the 60 MLAs of the House. He further appealed to make a new law In the coming assembly session by taking the consent from 60 MLAs so that irregularities and issues concerning the pipe water can be resolved.
Responding to the policy cut motion raised by opposition MLA K Meghachandra, Susindro said under the JJM, the quantity of water recommended to reach each person is 135 litre per day per person in Urban area; 70 litre per day per person in other town area (IMC area) and 55 litre per day per person on rural area. However, due to shortages in the water source the department has been unable to provide water to the public, he added.
At present, the state government has given water connection to as many as 3,44,105 households of a total household of 4,51,566 in the entire state under JJM, he added.
For monitoring of the quality of water, there are concerned officials to check the quality, he mentioned. He further assured the House that the department will be providing kits for checking water quality free of cost to the respective water suppliers of the government in order to provide quality water.
He said that the government is also planning to get water from Ijei river; Loktak lake and Barak river in order to solve the water scarcity issues in the state.
He also opined that the permanent solution to avoid drinking water scarcity is to stop deforestation, and the government needs to make a law to prevent mass deforestation especially in the hilly areas of Manipur.
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