Port Blair, Sept. 29: The Member of Parliament, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma has requested the Minister of Jal Skhakti, Govt. of India, New Delhi to include Andaman & Nicobar Islands under ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ which aims to provide safe and adequate tapped water connections to all households by 2024. The MP has also requested to allocate Rs.2000 Crore to A&N Islands in order to ensure timely completion of the Flat Bay Water Project under Jal Jeevan Mission to provide relief to the public from water deficit. 

Kuldeep informed that Andaman & Nicobar Islands are prone to recurring water crisis every summer and due to failure of Northeast Monsoon, water crisis has worsened owing to non-replenishment of local bodies and reservoirs.  In South Andaman District, Dhanikhari Dam is the lone source catering to the water requirements of urban, sub-urban and rural areas.  This dam level being 67 meters cannot sustain the requirement continuously for more than six months in the absence of rainfall.

Increasing populations along with spike in number of hotels and resorts have only enlarged the requirement of water leading to fast receding of water level in Dhanikhari Dam. However, there are scores of localized pockets like pounds and small reservoirs, which also cater to the requirements of local areas. But many of these ponds are silted heavily resulting in dismal carrying capacity. In the past, the A&N Administration had conceived a number of water projects in view of augmenting the supply such as Flat Bay, for which the DPR was done by WAPCSOC in 1998 but the project still remain on papers.

The MP drew the attention of the Minister and said that the matter has already been raised in the Lok Sabha during Zero hour on 20th September 2020 wherein the MP had demanding sanction of Rs.2000 Crore additional fund to A&N Islands for augmentation of Flat Bay Water Project.