Govt. to survey water availability in 500 cities

MoHUA to review state of water bodies and supply across country in 2022

A survey on household water supply and condition of water bodies in 500 cities will be carried out in 2022, senior officials of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry (MoHUA) said.

As a part of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 1, water balance plans would be created for all cities.

The survey — Pey Jal Survekshan — would be carried out in 500 cities with a population of above 1 lakh each, which were covered under the first iteration of AMRUT, said D. Thara, joint secretary in the MoHUA and AMRUT mission director. Ms. Thara said on Monday that the survey would be started “next year”.

According to a MoHUA statement on October 1, AMRUT 2.0 aims to make all the around 4,700 towns and cities in the country “water secure”, while AMRUT covered 500 cities only. City water balance plans for each city, covering reuse of treated water, rejuvenation of water bodies and conservation, would be drawn up.

“Pey Jal Survekshan will be conducted in cities to ascertain equitable distribution of water, reuse of wastewater and mapping of water bodies w.r.t. quantity and quality of water through a challenge process,” the statement read.

According to officials, a pilot survey was carried out in eight cities — Patiala, Churu, Agra, Rohtak, Bhubaneswar, Surat, Badlapur and Tumkur — earlier this year. Two other cities selected for the survey — Kochi and Madurai — could not be covered due to Assembly elections in the states and the outbreak of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

The survey, which was based on citizens’ responses, showed that satisfaction with the quality and quantity of water was subjective, an official said. The questionnaire for the expanded survey had been re-cast based on the experience of the pilot, the official said.

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