Port Blair, Feb. 25: The Andaman Nicobar State Water and Sanitation Mission has launched the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, a Govt. of India flagship programme for the rural water supply in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In this regard a workshop on ‘Community Involvement in NRDWP’ was held today at the Community Hall, Ferrargunj and Field Water Testing Kits were distributed. Smti Punya Salila Srivastava, Commissioner-cum-Secretary (PWD) graced that occasion as the chief guest.

Distributing the Field Water Testing Kits to all the Pradhans of Ferrargunj Samity area Smti Punya Salila Srivastava emphasized upon utilization of the Water Testing kits and keeping records of the test conducted. She further assured the gathering that the A & N Administration through the mission will extend all possible support to ensure safe and potable drinking water to each and every village of the islands.

The Chief Engineer-cum-Secretary (PWD), Shri P.K. Singh explained the gathering that the aim of the programme is to provide adequate water for drinking, cooking and other basic needs on sustainable basis to every rural person. This basic requirement should meet certain minimum water quality standard and be readily and conveniently accessible in all times and in all situations. Under the programme State level, District level and Panchayat level committees have been formed to implement the above scheme.

Singh further informed that the Village Water and Sanitation Committee (VWSC) has been formed with the Pradhan as head of the Committee and Junior Engineer, Water supply of APWD and PRI will be  members of the committee in addition to ANM, Anganwadi worker and Panchayat Secretary of the respective panchayat.  The VWSC has to ensure preparation of water plan for the self sufficiency of the village, create awareness in the rural community about contamination, water borne disease and their impact on health.

Dr. S. K. Paul, Director of Health Service informed that ensuring quality water will reduce number of water borne disease and improve the health of the rural populace. He said that his department will extend all cooperation for smooth implementation of the scheme and functioning of the VWSC.

Among the dignitaries who attended that programme were Zilla Parishad members, Pradhans, Panchayat Samity Members, Engineers of APWD and PRI and Panchayat Secretary of Ferrargunj area.

Earlier Shri Jose P. John, Director, ANSWSM welcomed the Chief Guest and gathering while Shri Mohd. Safiq, Pramukh, Panchayat Samity, Ferrargunj proposed the vote of thanks.