Friday April 12, 2024

Water, sanitation budget slashed

By Ali Raza
October 17, 2018

LAHORE: Though the PTI’s government is giving a special emphasis on providing clean drinking water across the province, the Punjab government has slashed budgetary allocations for water and sanitation by almost 65 per cent in comparison with the previous year.

During the year 2017-18, the PML-N government allocated Rs 57.477 billion, which is 27.73 per cent more than the previous year’s budgetary allocations while this year, the PTI government allocated only Rs 20.500 billion for water and sanitation section in the year 2018-19.

In 2013-14, Punjab government had allocated Rs 10.868 billion for the purpose, in 2015-16 it was Rs 13.047 billion, in 2016-17 it reached up to Rs 45 billion. According to the budget document, Rs 20.500 billion have been allocated in ADP 2018-19, out of which, Rs 8.4 billion are allocated for the ongoing schemes, which is 41 pc of the total size of the budget while Rs 12.091 billion are allocated for new schemes.

The budget document revealed that the government will spend Rs 5 billion on provision of clean water under the Healthy Life Programme, Rs 5 billion for Insaaf Program for provision of water supply and sanitation facilities in the rural areas while Rs 2 billion have been allocated for rural sewerage and drainage schemes. Amount of Rs 3 billion has been allocated for the WASH programme for stunting reduction in 11 districts of Multan, Bahawalpur and DG Khan divisions.

Under the urban water supply schemes, the government will complete several projects, including bulk water supply project from River Jhelum to Muree, water supply scheme for Fazaiya Housing Colony, Turnol and comprehensive water supply scheme for Mianwali. Other schemes include upgrade of water testing laboratories, establishment of PMU for WASH project, third party validation for quality control of the new initiatives throughout Punjab and multi-sectoral nutrition strategy for WASH project. The new projects include feasibility study for provision of surface water and treatment of waste water across Punjab, public awareness campaign, clean water for healthy life, water quality testing laboratory at Township, Lahore and Insaaf programme for water supply and sanitation.