Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Rs 5,555 crore Har Ghar Nal Yojana (piped water in every home initiative) for Sonbhadra and Mirzapur in the Vindhya region of Uttar Pradesh through a video conference on Sunday.
The scheme is aimed at providing piped water supply to over 4.1 million people in the two districts. The prime minister said piped water supply to about 3,000 villages will transform the lives of local residents.
The PM also praised chief minister Yogi Adityanath and his team for staying on the path of economic development despite the challenges posed by the global coronavirus disease pandemic.
“Earlier, people used to have a perception about UP. But the way UP has launched one developmental project after another is completely changing the image of Uttar Pradesh, the state government and its employees,” he said.
While tackling the Covid-19 challenge, the state government had taken care of migrant workers who returned to Uttar Pradesh from the cities and made arrangements for their employment, he said. The UP government did not let the Covid-19 pandemic slow the pace of development, he observed.
The prime minister also praised the state government for successfully handling an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis, a viral disease, in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
“The way in which the number of cases of Japanese encephalitis decreased in Uttar Pradesh due to efforts by the state government led by chief minister Yogi Adityanath is discussed far and wide. Even experts talk about it,” he said and added that every resident of Uttar Pradesh would “have been giving their blessings to Yogiji and his team for saving the lives of innocent children”.
The prime minister made a veiled allegation about previous governments ignoring villages and tribal areas. He said villages, villagers, tribals and tribal areas were not given as much priority as his government was giving to them to develop city-like facilities, including liquified petroleum gas (LPG connections), there.
“Despite having many natural resources and enjoying blessings of rivers like Son, Belan, Karmanash, Van Ganga, Kshipra, the Vindhya region faced neglect for decades since independence… the region was identified by drought. Be it Vindhya region on Bundelkhand, the whole region became one of dearth and scarcity. As a result, several people had to migrate from here,” PM said.
“But during the last few years, continuous efforts were made by the government to ensure clean tap water to every house and develop irrigation facilities in the region. As a result, last year, a big water project was started in Budelkhand region and today, the scheme worth Rs 5,555 crore has been launched in the Vindhya region to ensure supply of clean water through pipes to every house,” he added.
He said piped water supply would make the “life of our mothers and sisters easier in the villages”. It would also reduce the incidence of many diseases like cholera, typhoid and encephalitis caused by dirty water, he added.
The PM said that 1,250 van dhan kendras (forest wealth centres) had been set up in tribal areas, adding that a district mineral fund had been created for development of tribal areas.
The idea was that a large chunk of the funds generated from tribal areas should be spent on their development, he said.