PM lays foundation stone of rural drinking water projects in UP

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Lucknow:┬áPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday bemoaned the lack of development in UP’s Vindhyachal for decades after Independence and said despite resources, the region faced scarcity.

The scarcity forced many people to migrate from the region, he said after laying the foundation stone of rural drinking water supply projects in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts of the Vindhyachal region via video conferencing.

Modi also interacted with village water and sanitation committee members during the event.

“For decades after Independence, if any area had fallen prey to neglect, then it was this area. Be it Vindhyachal or Bundelkhand, this entire area despite having resources became an area of scarcity. Despite having so many rivers, this area was identified as the most thirsty and drought-affected area. This was the reason, which forced many people to migrate from here,” he said.

Referring to the temple of Vindhyavasini in the region, Modi said the Vindhya hills are a big centre of belief (vishvaas) and faith (aasthaa).

“With the blessings of Maa Vindhyavasini, this project is beginning. The Vindhyachal hills have been a centre of belief (vishvaas), piousness (pavitrata) and faith (aasthaa) from ancient times. Poet Rahimdas had said ‘jaa par vipadaa parat hai, so aavat yehi desh’ (a person facing difficulty comes to this place). The reason for this belief was the abundant resources and possibilities present here,” he said.

Modi said the foundation laying of the projects is a moment of happiness for mothers, sisters and daughters.

“This project is an example of Uttar Pradesh taking forward steps despite COVID-19,” the PM said.

The prime minister said in the past a year and a half from the start of the Jal Jeevan Mission, over 2.60 crore families have been provided with piped drinking water in the country.

He added under the Jal Jeevan Mission, the life of mothers and sisters is getting easier due to easy water access.

A major benefit of this has been the reduction of many diseases like cholera, typhoid and encephalitis caused by dirty water, he said.

The prime minister said once piped water reached thousands of villages in Vindhyachal, the health of children would improve and their physical and mental development will be better.

“When you get freedom to take decisions and work on those decisions for the development of your village, it increases the confidence of everyone in the village. Aatma Nirbhar Gaanv (self-reliant villages) will boost the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat campaign in a big way. Our government has given priority to villagers, the poor, the tribal, who were not given priority earlier,” he said.

Referring to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Modi said, “What type of house should be constructed in a particular area and what construction material should be used, are no longer decided in Delhi.

The house should be constructed as per the living style of the tribal people,” he said.

The prime minister said his government had worked to help women get rid of smoke emanating from ovens (using wood) by providing LPG cylinders.

“Our mothers and sisters used to daily consume smoke equivalent to smoke generated by 400 cigarettes. This has also reduced cutting of jungles,” he said.

Modi said the area is becoming a leader (agrani) in the world in the solar energy sector.

“The solar energy plant in Mirzapur is writing a new chapter of development. Help is also being provided so that farmers can produce solar energy on barren land and earn additional income. Our ‘anndata’ (grain providers) should become ‘urjadata’ (energy providers),” he said and reminded people of the earlier energy situation.

Referring to the Swamitva Scheme, Modi said verified ownership deeds for residential and land properties are being delivered to the owners leading to stability and certainty of titles.

This is leading to an assurance against unlawful encroachment upon the property of the poor and improving the possibility of using property as collateral for credit.

Speaking about efforts for the uplift of the people of the region, Modi said schemes are reaching the tribal regions under special projects.

Hundreds of Eklavya Model schools are operating in such regions. The aim is to provide this facility to every tribal majority block. Projects on forest-based products are also being implemented.

A district mineral fund has been established so that there is no dearth of funds for tribal regions and thinking behind such a scheme is that a part of resources generated from such areas are invested locally.

In Uttar Pradesh, Rs 800 crore has been collected under the fund and more than 6,000 projects have been sanctioned, he said.

Modi urged people to remain alert against coronavirus as the danger still exists.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was present on the occasion.

The projects will provide tap water connections in 2,995 villages and benefit about 42 lakh people. Village water and sanitation committees will have the responsibility of operation and maintenance.

The total estimated cost of the projects is Rs 5,555.38 crore. The projects are planned to be completed in 24 months under the Jal Jeevan Mission announced by the prime minister on August 15 last year.

The projects aim at providing functional household tap connections to every rural house of the country by 2024.

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