Use up funds for drinking water, Jairam tells Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Oct 6: Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Thursday asked Orissa to speed up spending of funds released to it under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).

Ramesh wrote to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who had asked for more allocation under NRDWP.

The central government sponsored scheme supports states and union territories with financial and technical assistance in implementing drinking water supply projects in rural areas.

The allocation under the programme to the states is done according to an approved funding pattern, finalised after consultation with state governments and approved by the cabinet, the union minister said.

The opening balance under NRDWP in Orissa as on April 1 was Rs.134.02 crore, said Ramesh in his letter, a copy of which is with IANS.

The central government has allocated Rs.213 crore for 2011-2012 under the programme and released Rs.101.32 crore as the first instalment.

But expenditure up to Aug 31 was only Rs.72.96 crore.

‘Even the opening balance as on April 1 has not yet been utilised,’ Ramesh said.

Ramesh asked Patnaik to instruct the concerned departments in the state to expedite utilisation of available funds and send a proposal for the release of the second instalment by Nov 15.

In case Orissa utilises the funds allocated to it within this year, proposal for the release of additional funds can be considered, he wrote.