Congress slams govt for not utilising funds for water sector

·2-min read

New Delhi, Mar 15 (PTI) Cautioning that water is going to be a big issue in the future, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh Monday slammed the government for not utilising the allocated funds for different projects and programmes in the Ministry of Jal Shakti.

Participating in a discussion on the working of the ministry, Singh said, “The way your ministry is working I don't think you have control over it. The recommendations of the standing committee observed non-utilisation of funds, no monitoring of ongoing projects, incomplete projects and cost overruns.” He stated that the ministry was unable to utilise the funds, as pointed out in the reports of the standing committee, and allocation from ground water projects was also reduced.

Referring to the report of the committee he said, “In Jal Jeevan Mission, you could not spend the Rs 2,436 crore allocated funds in 2018-19. Similarly in 2019-20, you could not spend Rs 4,631 crore in 2019-20.' Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, the ministry could not spend Rs 10,683 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 10,475 crore in 2019-20, he told the House. 'What kind of government you are running. I am unable to understand.' He pointed out that 'your (government) committed liability has been increasing. You have money with you. But you are taking debt....out of 99 accelerated irrigation projects, you could complete only 44 projects. Under micro irrigation, there was a target of 6.10 lakh hectare. But you could implement micro irrigation in only 15,000 hectares. You could not spend money in Namami Gange Programme. You (minister) could not bring the issue of water efficiency before the Union Cabinet.” He said, “We had a lot of expectations from (you)....If this is your performance then what we can expect. You should also bring water policy on the discussion table.' Singh also highlighted the issue of people shelling out money for getting water from tankers to meet their requirements.

He also stated, 'I congratulate your resolve to provide tap water to all by 2024. But I don't think you would deliver and spend Rs 60,000 crore allocated for that. You don't have a shelf of projects (projects pipeline to execute this plan)...Water is going to be a big issue in the coming days.' BJP member Gopal Narayan Singh also participated in the debate, saying a lot work has been done in the NDA regime since 2014. PTI KKS KKS TIR TIR