Lok Sabha today
discussed the Demands for Grants of the Ministry of Drinking Water and
Sanitation.
During the discussion
members highlighted key issues and challenges in improving access to 
sanitation and safe
drinking water . They pointed out the need to ensure
maintenance of infrastructure created under the National Rural Drinking Water
Programme and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Gramin), in addition to creating new
infrastructure.

Chaudhary Birender
Singh, the Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation replied to the debate and
the passed the Demands for Grants. The Minister  reaffirmed the
government’s goal to provide quality drinking water by 2022, with 90% piped
water to the rural population. Replying to the concerns of MPs regarding budget
allocation, the Minister stated that the basic responsibility was with the
States as sanitation and drinking water are in the state list of the
constitution.  The Minister committed to
help states get external funding for providing bulk surface water.

The Standing
Committee's Report on the Demands for Grants of the Ministry of Drinking Water and
Sanitation was submitted on Monday. The Committee pointed out that for the
National Rural Drinking Water Programme, during 2014-15,out of 1,14,479
habitations proposed to be covered, only 69,111 were actually covered and out
of 22562 quality-affected habitations, 8,195 were actually covered up to
December 2014. The Committee recommended that the Ministry take steps to
address these issues relating to continuing challenges in providing safe
drinking water, in collaboration with states. 

Addressing the issue
of poor access to sanitation, the Committee recommended that priority should be
give to bring about behavioural change in the rural population through
undertaking awareness campaigns.

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