Rajasthan's Rajsamand takes up water audit to fix drinking water woes

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Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district is undertaking a water audit exercise to address the shortage of drinking water and to assist in the creation of an action plan to cater for the future demand.

District collector Arvind Poswal, the brain behind the initiative, says that during his interactions with the elected representatives, villagers and officials, he often received contradictory information on water resources, which led to the idea of the audit.

“People would say that a particular hand pump was not working or a pipeline was leaking. But officials said that on their records, the hand pump or pipe was functioning properly, To overcome this discrepancy, I decided to send the officials to the field to assess the ground situation without waiting for complaints and demands from people to pile up,” said Poswal.

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“The usual complaints we get from people is that officials never visit the field, so we decided to send them to the field and do a reality check. They will listen to people and gather information about demands and complaints and then prepare a report based on that,” he said.

Poswal said the administration’s objective is to solve the problems relating to drinking water in each revenue village through process of ground verification of the drinking water facilities.

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The water audit will be done in all 214 gram panchayats of Rajsamand district, about 300 km south of Jaipur. The elected representatives along with the block and district level officials will be present at the time of the water audit.

“The audit will be carried out when water is supplied, usually between 6 am and 9 am in the morning, in all the 214 gram panchayats,” said Poswal. The current per day demand of drinking water in Rajsamand district is 111 million litres.

A form with a check-list has been created for all officials to be filled on the spot.

It will register details about the existing drinking water system and the place-specific requirements for creating lacking infrastructure. The officials will take note of available sources of drinking water, time of water supply, quantity of water supplies, demand for water and the availability, the number of hand pumps, faulty handpumps, state of pipelines, state of water tanks, state of tube wells and identification of new water sources.

Suggestions from people and elected representatives will also be taken before officials finalise their reports with their own analysis or comments and submit it to the DC. The reports will be reviewed by the chief executive officer and PHED officials before it is passed to the collector for a final decision.

He said the data and suggestions received from people will help the administration review the present drinking water arrangement, demand, supply and create a plan to meet the future drinking water needs.

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