Raipur. The Panchayat will now decide the 'Jal Jeevan Mission' contracts. The committee headed by the Collector will decide the tender process. Till a month ago the PHE Department was handling this but, after complaints of various irregularities in the seven-thousand-crores rupees tender, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel replaced the entire system. The Central Government has also approved this so that all the work gets accomplished at the ground level.
The ambitious water project of the Central Government became controversial even before it started. As part of this plan, every house in every village of the state should have a pipeline connection. Under this scheme, the companies outside the state got six-thousand-crores to work in lowlands and relatively safe zones. The local contractors of the state, on the other hand, got small contracts in Bastar and other Naxal-affected areas.
The matter went to the Chief Minister after which he cancelled the tender. A 3-member team headed by former CS RP Mandal investigated the case. Afterwards, the tender process became a district-level process. Preparations are underway to start afresh because the state government has passed its contribution amount in the budget. Therefore, as soon as the Centre gives its share, the tender process will get complete.
The aim is to provide clean drinking tap water to more than thirty-eight-lakh households in rural areas. Out of forty-three-lakh-seventeen-thousand houses in the state, only Four-lakh-eighty-thousand have a water supply. Only 11 per cent of households have a water connection. The Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide clean drinking water to every house by 2024.