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The Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) which aims to provide potable drinking water to every rural household through household tap connections (FHTCs) by 2024, seems like a long fetched dream in Meghalaya’s West Khasi Hills district.
The implementing agency like the Village Water & Sanitation Committee (VWSC) and local contractors faced several hurdles in procuring the pipeline, as the concerned department was instructed to buy the Galvanised Iron (GI) pipes from only one company (Jindal).
While addressing reporters, VWSC members and local contractors said it was difficult to procure the GI pipes since the company kept increasing the prices.
According to department officials, “As per the guidelines of the JJM it is clearly shown that any GI pipes company who bear the Indian Standards Institution (ISI) mark with medium quality will be approved for implementation of the scheme and if we choose the other company bearing the ISI mark as per the JJM guidelines the department might not approve.”
“Regarding the difficulties faced by the implementing agencies, the department has sent a letter to the government requesting to give more options for procuring the GI pipes from other companies so that the project will run smoothly, but till date, there is no response from the Government,” superintending engineer of PHED, Western Circle, R.S Nongbri, said
Other implementing agencies like VWSC and contractors have demanded the state government and the concerned department to approve the procurement of GI pipes from other companies to complete the project as per the time frame given by the centre.
(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)