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     Raipur, March 11, 2010: Members in the state Assembly cutting across party line today expressed their concern over the shortage of drinking water in the entire state of Chhattisgarh and urged the Public Health Engineering Department to look into that.

     Ponds and wells have been dried up in Pathalgaon and several other places of the state even before the actual summer started and there could be an acute shortage of drinking water this time in the mid summer, Deputy Opposition Leader Ram Pukar Singh told the state assembly during the discussion on the Budget of PHE and Tribal Department.

     Water sources and especially the PHE sources have dried up resulting in malfunctioning of the pump systems in many areas, said former Deputy Speaker and Congress leader Dharamjeet Singh.

     Saurav Singh of the Bahujan Samaj Party said violating the rules industries in his Janjgir-Champa district had gone for deep bore wells resulting in depletion of ground water table in many areas of the district.

     BJP MLA Devjibhai Patel and asked the PHE department to make alternate arrangement looking into the dried tube wells in many areas.

     Kuldeep Juneja of Congress said it was unfortunate that the capital city Raipur was facing acute water shortage and urged the government to connect Gangrel dam with Raipur through pipe line to solve the problem.

     Replying to the discussion, PHE and Tribal Welfare Minister Kedar Kashyap said against the national average of one tube well per 250 people, the average of Chhattisgarh was one tube well per 100 people.

     Only 44 habitats have been deprived of safe drinking water in the state and in the next three months that would be covered, Kashyap said.

     However, the Minister urged the members and the people to conserve water.

     Let everyone take care not to waste water and that would really help the people in having plenty of water for everyone, he said.

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