Pointing out that a large amount of central funds were lying unutilised with the State, the Centre has refused to release Rs 138.58 crore to Tamil Nadu for drinking water projects there.

The Rural Development Minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh, who also holds the portfolio of Drinking Water and Sanitation, has written to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J. Jayalalithaa, asking her to expedite the spending of available funds and report it to the Centre.

“The first instalment of NRDWP funds for 2012-13 amounting to Rs 138.58 crore could not be released so far to your State, because of the high unspent balance of Rs 236.59 crore with the State as on June 1, 2012 (opening balance of Rs 237.32 crore minus Rs 0.73 crore utilised),” Mr Ramesh said in his letter.

Highlighting the delay in implementation of the drinking water projects in the State, Mr Ramesh said that the Tamil Nadu Government has spent only Rs 0.73 crore in April and May this year.

He asked the Chief Minister to direct officials of the State’s rural drinking water supply department to expedite the utilisation of available funds and report the expenditure to the Centre on the on-line monitoring system so as to enable it to release the first instalment to the State at the earliest.