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Monday, November 26, 2007

Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission

Minutes of the meeting of the North-Eastern and hilly states held on 17th October, 2007 at New Delhi to review the implementation of rural water supply and sanitation programmes.
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1) `The monthly Review meeting of North-East and Hill States was held on 17th October, 2007 at 10.00 a.m. at the Conference Hall of Land Resources Deptt, Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by Secretary, Dept. of Drinking Water Supply, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. The list of participants is enclosed (Annex–I). In the meeting 8 North-East States and Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir were invited.


2) At the outset, Joint Secretary, DWS welcomed the officials from the State Governments. Observing that no Block- and GP-wise action plan in respect of Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) had been received from the States. He stated that detailed action plan is essential for better monitoring of the TSC projects being implemented in the States and in many cases M (RD) is emphasizing on this point at every review meeting with the States. This therefore is to be prepared without any further delay keeping in view also our resolution to achieve full sanitation coverage by 2012 and cover all rural schools with sanitation facilities by December 2007. He also asked them to be regular in reporting progress on-line. The States were urged to link rooftop rainwater harvesting and school sanitation. He requested the States to share success stories and best practices with the GoI for giving wider publicity to the programme. Director (CRSP) stated that all the States are required to enter GP level data on-line. He informed the States that sanction orders are posted on the website at the Central Govt. level.

3) After detailed state-wise discussions, following observations were made and decisions taken are as under:

I. Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP)

i.)State-wise progress of implementation was reviewed and Secretary, DWS requested all the States to expedite the implementation of rural water supply programmes and report latest physical and financial progress on regular basis.



i.)Arunachal Pradesh: Representative from the State informed the Secretary (DWS) that the working season in the state actually starts from the month of October. The state could cover 22 uncovered habitations sop far and he assured that by next month they will cover 50 uncovered habitations. Besides, 12 slipped back habitations have been covered. He further the Secretry that informed as the focus was on the Uncovered habitations as per the Bharat Nirman objectives, they could not cover any slipped back habittions earlier but this year onward, they will cover more slipped back habitations and the target of Bhrat Nirman will be met. Regarding high opening balance of the ARWSP (Normal) fund, the representative stated that this was due to release of 3rd installment in April by the State finance department.

ii.)Assam: Representative from the State informed Secretary (DWS) that due to flood the work in the State suffered a lot. They have covered 542 uncovered habitations so far and 50% of the target will be achieved by the end of December 2007. The State representative also informed the participants that most of the remaining NC habitations are located in the Autonomous Hill Council area and thusthere is some difficulty in covering them. Regarding slipped back habitations, he mentioned that due to emphasis on covering the Uncovered habitations first as per the Bharat Nirman objectives, no slipped back habitations were targeted during 2005-06 and 2006-07. He assured Secretary (DWS) that 40% of the target for 2007-08 will be achieved by next month. Besides, he mentioned that, no fund under 12th Finance Commission grant was released to PHED Assam so far.

iii.)Manipur : RC attended and only noted down the points raised in the meeting as he was not briefed about the points raised.

iv.)Meghalaya: The State representative informed the participants that 1 out of 45 PC habitation of CAP 99 has become uninhabited. Hence, only 1 NC and 44 PC (Total 45) habitations of CAP 99 remained to be tackled as on 1.4.2007. The details of this habitation have been updated on the online system already. He further informed Secretary that by November 2007, it will be possible for them to cover 30 habitations and all habitations will be covered by this year. Regarding Slipped-back habitations, the State representative informed the participants that additional 100 habitations will be covered by November 2007. The proposal for release of 2nd Installment of ARWSP (Normal) has already been submitted to the Central Government by the State.

v.)Mizoram: The State representative informed Secretary (DWS) that there were certain problem like O&M, sharing of water by individual beneficiary from Community based RWHS constructed under submission projects approved in 1997. Secretary(DWS) instructed the concerned Area Officer ofDDWS to settle this issue while on visit to the State in future after discussion at the State level. The State representative further informed that 4 slipped back habitations have been covered so far and report in this regard will be furnished shortly. He also informed that all projects for 26 habitations have already been sanctioned.

vi.) Nagaland: The State representative informed Secretary that 11 NC and 420 PC habitation of CAP 99 remained to be tackled as on 1.4.2007 out of which 30 habitations have been covered so far and by November 2007, it will be possible for them to cover 60 more habitations. Regarding meeting the target of slipped back habitations, he said that with the available fund it will be difficult to achieve the target. He further informed Secretary that projects for 127 habitations have been sanctioned and they have submitted proposal for release of 2nd Installment under ARWSP (Normal) and Swajaldhara to the Centre.

vii.)Himachal Pradesh: The State representative informed Secretary that only 1407 PC habitations of CAP 99 remained to be tackled as on 1.4.2007 out of which 360 habitations have been covered so far and by next month, additional 250 habitations will be covered. Regarding Slipped-back habitations, the State representative informed the participants that the target for 2007-07 will be achieved. Also they have submitted proposal for release of 2nd Installment under ARWSP (Normal) to DDWS.

viii.)Jammu & Kashmir: The State representative informed Secretary (DWS) that 196 habitations of CAP 99 have been covered so far and by next month, additional 100 habitations will be covered. Regarding Slipped-back habitations, the State representative informed the participants that exact position of slippage is being found out and by next month 40 more slipped back habitations will be covered. He further informed Secretary that the proposal for release of 2nd Installment under ARWSP (Normal) will be submitted to DDWS shortly.

ix.)Sikkim: State Government had informed DDWS in advanc that due to unavoidable circumstances, State Secretary would be unable to attend the aforesaid meeting and they had already sought leave of absence. No participant from seeking thus attended the meeting.


i.)Tripura: RC attended and noted down all the points.

ii.)Uttarakhand: The State representative informed Secretary that 8 habitations have become uninhabited. Hence only 167 habitations of CAP 99 remained to be tackled as on 1.4.2007 which are mostly located in 6 districts in remote areas. Director (DWS) requested all the States that such details should be communicated to the department in writing. The State representative informed DDWS that they propose to cover these habitations with the help of NGOs by water harvesting. Secretary (DWS) instructed that 10-15 habitations may be distributed to each NGO and she further directed the concerned Area Officer (Shri. R. K. Sinha, Director (CRSP)) to discuss this issue on his visit to the State. The representative from the State informed Secretary that funds released under Swajldhara are being utilized but unfortunately the same has not been reported and he assured all present that steps will be taken to report the utilization online. He further informed the participants that the proposal for release of 2nd Installment under ARWSP (Normal) will be submitted shortly.

iii.)Other States were requested to expedite expenditure and send proposals for the release of 2nd installment on attaining 60% expenditure.

iv.)States were requested to make online entry of data for monitoring. It was impressed upon them that Bharat Nirman targets are to be achieved under any case. The six-monthly progress report should be furnished before the next meeting.

v.)All the States were requested to furnish success stories and names of 2-5 villages that could be adopted for developing them as ‘Model Villages’ for showcasing new technologies in the sector of water and sanitation.

vi.)All the states were requested to prepare habitation wise action plan, for ensuring sustainability in doing water supply as also to tackle water quality problems keeping in view the fact that only 18 month are left for the ending of the Bharat Norman period.


II. Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC)

i.)Arunachal Pradesh: The State has achieved a sanitation coverage of 57.07 per cent. However, at the current growth rate it will be 66.36 per cent in 2012 i.e. on the date fixed for 100% coverage by Govt. of India (DDWS). Nine districts did not receive proportionate State share and proposals for claiming 2nd installment have not been submitted as yet. Director (CRSP) observed that five districts have spent more than 60 per cent of the funds available. JS asked the State to prepare an Action Plan for achieving target set under school sanitation, i.e. full coverage by December 2007. In his response, the State representative said that the State is accelerating the pace of the programme. Block-wise baseline survey is underway and by next month an Action Plan will be shared with the GoI. He further stated that no Chartered Accountants are available in the State and this causes difficulty in getting mandatory documents such as audited statement of accounts and UCs. The State has engaged a CA recently and the representative stated that by 3rd week of November proposals for further release will be submitted.

ii.)Assam: Sanitation coverage of the State is 63.36 per cent at present and with the current growth rate it will be only 67.01 per cent in 2012 i.e. the date fixed for 100% coverage One district did not get proportionate State share. All Blocks and GPs do not implement TSC in the State. The representative from Assam stated that three new districts have been created and proposals for them will be submitted shortly. He also stated that GP-wise Action Plan is being prepared. Proposals for claiming 2nd installment for all eligible districts would be submitted by November 2007.

iii.)Himachal Pradesh: Sanitation coverage in the State stands at 41.60 per cent. Current growth rate is three per cent. To achieve full coverage by 2012 the growth rate will have to be 14 per cent. The State representative stated that TSC is implemented in all GPs. To accelerate the programme, the State is adopting CLTS method. The State representative observed that only one district (Kinnaur) did not receive proportionate State share. Bilaspur and Hamirpur districts faced problems in reporting progress on-line. To streamline the data entry, the State requested the GoI to organize a one-day training programme. Baseline data of Shimla and Solan would be submitted in the proper format shortly. Proposals for 2nd installment from at least six districts would be submitted within one week. In response to a request to have two CCDUs, Director (CRSP) informed the State epresentative that it could do so with the condition that the combined administrative expenditure does not exceed Rs.30 lakh per annum. When asked about the status of revolving fund, the representative observed that subsidy is not paid upfront. It is released as an incentive after ensuring not only that toilets are built, but they are used as well. Director (CRSP) informed the State representative that it could avail the help of CAPART funded NGOs for carrying out IEC activities in the State.

iv.)Jammu & Kashmir: As of now, sanitation coverage in the State is 50.77 per cent and given the current growth rate it would reach only 59.41 per cent by 2012. Revolving fund is not utilized in the State. Five districts did not receive proportionate State share. School sanitation coverage is only 57.03 per cent, which is a matter of concern. When the State representative observed that they did not have enough funds for building school toilets, Director (CRSP) stated that GoI release is not component-wise. State could spend available funds on any of the components and claim additional installments. The State would like to get TSC funds transferred to the State Department directly as the current system of transferring the fund to the district causes delay. Director (CRSP) made it clear that TSC funds cannot be transferred to State Department under any circumstances. However, it could be transferred to some other account at the district level if the State wishes it likewise. Foro this purpose he State Govt. should formally submit a proposal to DDWS in this regard.

v.)Manipur: The State was not represented in the meeting.

vi.)Meghalaya: Sanitation coverage in the State is 41.01 per cent now and it is expected to be 41.80 per cent in 2012. TSC is showing no impact in the State in terms of increased sanitation coverage. Three districts register ‘nil’ progress. The State representative stated that some progress was made in those three districts during August 2007, which is not reflected in the on-line data. He observed that State allocation for sanitation was only Rs.1 crore. This posed problems in ensuring matching release. He further observed that some schools do not have proper water supply facilities and toilets are not built there. JS urged the State to take up rooftop rainwater harvesting in a big way to address this problem.

vii.)Mizoram: The State is doing well, barring school sanitation. Only 1,707 school toilets have been built against a target of 3,219. The State representative observed that Action Plan is not prepared as yet. It will be ready before the next review meeting. He further observed that the NSSC sanctioned the revised project of Saiha district with an outlay of Rs.172 lakh. However, the amount featured on the website is Rs.158 lakh. Director (CRSP) took note of the discrepancy and stated that it would be rectified. He asked the State to submit proposal for 2nd installment for Saiha district.

viii.)Nagaland: The State would like to have TSC funds transferred to DWSMs’ account. Director (CRSP) agreed and asked the State to furnish details of the accounts. The State assured that all schools would have toilets by December 2007 itself. The remaining thousand or so school toilets would be built expeditiously.

ix.)Sikkim: The progress made in the State is very encouraging.

x.)Tripura: TSC is progressing well in the State. Proposals for further installments will be submitted before the next meeting.

xi.)Uttarakhand: Current sanitation coverage in the State is 47.22 per cent, which is likely to reach only 62.26 per cent by 2012. The State was asked to pay more attention to school sanitation and the sanitation facilities of GPs on the banks of the river Ganges. The State representative observed that the programme has picked up momentum and the targets would be achieved. However, full coverage of schools could be delayed and the deadline given by the State is March 2008. The representative further observed that toilet construction is difficult on account of mountainous and rocky terrain. Apart from that, the State did not receive any fund from the GoI from January 2007 to June 2007. He stated that NGP recipients are yet to receive the prize money which is dampening the spirit of people involved. The State wants the GoI to promote CLTS approach and share IEC funds with PMU. Director (CRSP) observed that TSC does not prescribe any particular method and States are free to adopt any approach that suits them. However, he said that IEC funds could not be diverted to a state level entity. PMU could coordinate with CCDU to have a more effective communication strategy. He further observed that fiberglass pans, which are light, could address the problem of high transportation costs. SHGs could take up manufacturing of such pans. Bihar and Tamil Nadu are doing well on this front and trainers could be sourced from these states.

4. At the end it was decided that, the States may depute, as far as possible, the same officers to attend the future meetings to ensure continuity.

The meeting ended with thanks to the Chair.

 
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