Mumbai: Maharashtra Government is formulating a policy under which solar energy will be utilised for purification of drinking water to protect people from water-borne infections.
"The number of cases of people falling ill due to the menace of unsafe drinking water are on the rise. To counter this menace, the water supply department is in the process of preparing a strong policy which will enable impure water to get treated using solar energy," Water Supply Minister Babanrao Lonikar said, adding that 11 crore people of the state will get benefited once the policy is implemented.
He alleged that at least 1,000 villages were forced to drink unsafe water despite the erstwhile Congress-NCP government spending crores on supplying potable water.
"The previous government had spent crores of rupees to provide potable drinking water to people. Despite this people are yet to get safe water. Still people living in rural areas are forced to drink unsafe and contaminated water because they have no other option," Lonikar told reporters here.
Lonikar, who also holds the charge of Sanitation department, said the government will increase the subsidy for building toilets to Rs 12,000 from current Rs 4,000 per toilet which was given by the previous government.
There are 56 lakh families who don't have toilets in their homes, he said, adding that government is aiming to build toilets across 1,000 villages within next one year.
"It is very unfortunate that women in 21st century have to defecate in the open. Our target is to provide toilets
to all these families," the minister said.