Need Rs 10,000 crore to solve rural drinking water problem: Chandrababu Naidu

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Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday told the Centre Rs 10,000 crore were required to solve the drinking water problem in rural areas of the state by 2019.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu made a PowerPoint presentation to Union Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on the state’s requirements and the steps taken to make AP drought-free in the next three years.

“This year alone we require Rs 1,000 crore for various rural water supply schemes we have taken up. But the Centre sanctioned only Rs 170 crore in the 2016-17 Budget,” the CM told the visiting Union Minister at a review meeting.

Noting that “wounds of unscientific bifurcation” of the state still remain, Naidu told Singh the onus was on the Centre to extend liberal financial assistance to AP.

“People are asking why the Centre which divided the state is not providing due financial assistance. The Centre has to bear this in mind and sanction funds liberally,” he said.

The CM also informed the Minister of various measures undertaken by the state government to prevent drought, including the digging of 10 lakh farm ponds.

“This will not only help recharge ground water but also raise crops even in adverse seasonal conditions,” he added. Works under MGNREGA were also being taken up in a massive way, he said.

Birender Singh said the Centre appreciates the state’s concerns and would extend due financial help. “You are an able Chief Minister. No injustice will be done to the state,” the Union Minister said. Union Minister for Tribal Welfare Jual Oram was also present.

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