Consumers owe water board Rs 7.5B

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Consumers, including State and commercial enterprises, owed the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) a staggering Rs 7.5 billion, by April this year.

This came to light at a progress review meeting of the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at President’s House, Fort on Wednesday (15).

Meanwhile, plans are afoot to complete work on large and small-scale water supply projects which are in the final stages of construction in order to vest them with the public.

It was also decided to resolve issues related to these projects as soon as possible.

Inquiring about the progress of water projects implemented with local and foreign fund, he was told that at present, 2,337 large, medium and small scale water supply projects are being implemented with local and foreign funds. Officials pointed out that many of these have made progress.

Nearly 467,808 new water supply connections have been provided from 2019 to date and by 2025 the targeted total number of households that will be given water supply connections will be 5,946,352.

To provide clean drinking water to the people, the Department of National Community Water Supply has implemented 704 new village based community water supply projects, including 84 proposed projects in the ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme.

The timely need of amending the National Water Supply and Drainage Board and Water Resources Board Act and the adoption of the Department of National Community Water Supply Act were also discussed.

It was also decided to minimise damage to the environment from large scale tube wells operated for commercial purposes, to conduct a census of tube wells, bore wells and agricultural wells and to prepare plans to conserve groundwater in the event of large scale land allotment. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Chief of Staff to the President, Anura Dissanayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage Monty Ranatunga and heads of line institutions were also present at the discussion.