22 Oct : The Minister of State in the Ministry of Rural Development Shri Chandra Sekhar Sahu today informed the Rajya Sabha in reply to written question that Rural water supply is a State subject and State Governments/ its agencies are primarily responsible for water supply in rural areas. After 73rd Amendment in the Constitution of India, rural water supply has been placed in the 11th Schedule of the Constitution and is to be transferred to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). Government of India supplements the efforts of the States by providing financial assistance under Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP). The actual status regarding availability of safe drinking water in the villages on date varies from time to time and it is dynamic in nature as it depends on a number of factors viz. rainfall, status of drinking water sources and systems in the villages, etc.
However, in 2005 targets under Bharat Nirman- rural drinking water component were fixed based on the information furnished by the States regarding status of water supply in rural habitations and accordingly, during the Bharat Nirman period, 55,067 un-covered and about 3.31 lakh slipped-back habitations are to be covered and 2.17 lakh quality-affected habitations are to be addressed for water quality problems.