New Delhi: To translate Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of providing clean tap water to every household, Union Government has increased the Central grant to Andhra Pradesh under the Jal Jeevan Mission in the year 2021-22 to Rs 3,182.88 Crore, which was Rs 790.48 Crore in 2020-21. Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat while approving this four-fold increase in allocation has assured full assistance to the State for making provision of tap water supply in every rural home by 2024.
At the start of the Mission in 2019, out of a total of 19.20 Crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 Crore (17%) had tap water supply. During the last 21 months, despite Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission, has been implemented with speed and 4.29 Crore households have been provided with piped connections. With the increase in coverage by 22%, presently 7.52 Crore (39.22%) rural households across the country have tap water supply. Goa, Telangana, Andaman &Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have achieved 100% household connection in rural areas and has become ‘Har Ghar Jal’. Following the principle of Prime Minister’s vision of ‘SabkaSaath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’, the motto of the Mission is that ‘no one is left out’ and every household in a village should be provided with tap water connection. At present, in 62 districts and more than 92 thousand villages, every household has tap water supply.
In Andhra Pradesh, out of a total of 95.66 lakh households in 18,650 villages, 46.89lakh households (49.02%) have been provided with tap water connections. On 15th August 2019, at the time of launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, 30.74 lakh (32.14%) households had tap water supply. In 21 months,16.14lakh(16.88%) households in the State have been provided tap water connections, which is less than the national increase of 22%. Andhra Pradesh has to providetap water connections to remaining 48.77 lakh households to become ‘Har Ghar Jal’’. The State has to accelerate its speed of implementation to meet the timeline. TheState has planned to provide tap water connections to 32.47 lakh households in 2021-22, 12.28 lakh tap water connections in 2022-23 and 6 lakh tap water connections in 2023-24 to achieve tap water supply for every rural household.
In the year 2020-21, Andhra Pradesh could provide only 12.97 lakh tap water connections. The water supply work to provide tap water connection has not yet started in 874 villages in the State. The pace of implementation in the State in last quarter of 2020-21 was 2.92 lakh tap water connections per month which has dropped to about 74,379 tap water connections per month in April and May of current year. The State has to provide about 4 lakh tap water connection per month to achieve the target set for 2021-22.Urging the State to accelerate the pace of implementation, Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has written a letter to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, emphasizing the work of providing tap connections should start in all the villages so that the state can provide tap water supply to every household by March 2024.
In 2020-21, Rs 790.48Crore Central grant was available with the State, out of which only Rs 297.62 Crore was drawn by the State. Thus, the State surrendered Rs 492.86 Crore meant for tap water supply in rural areas of the State. This year with four-fold increase in Central allocation (Rs 3,182.88 crore), an opening balance of Rs. 146.65 Crore, Rs 242.91 Crore shortfall in State share during last year and the matching State share for current year, the State has Rs 6,805.71 Croreassured fund for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission- Har Ghar Jal.As availability of the fund is no constraint, the Union Minister has urged the State to perform much better to avail the Central grant fully and utilize the same by speedy implementation so that benefits reaches the people of the State.
In 2021-22, Rs 1,164 Crore has been allocated to Andhra Pradesh as 15th FC tied grant for water & sanitation to Rural Local Bodies/ PRIs. There is an assured funding of Rs 6,138 Crore for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26. This huge investment in rural areas of Andhra, will accelerate economic activities and also boost rural economy. It will create new employment opportunities in villages.
To ensure safe tap water to children in schools, ashramshalas and anganwadi centres in the country, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced 100-days campaign, which was launched by the Union Minister Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on 2nd October 2020. As a result, Andhra Pradeshalong with Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands have made provision of tap water in all schools, anganwadi centres and Gram Panchayat Bhawans.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission, the State also needs to accord priority to water-scarce areas, quality-affected villages, Aspirational districts, SC/ST majority villages and Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojna (SAGY) villages.
Water quality monitoring & surveillance activities are to be given top priority, for which anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, members of Self-Help Groups, PRI members, school teachers etc.; are being trained so that they can test water samples for contamination at water sources and delivery points using Field Test Kits (FTKs). State also needs to upgrade its water testing laboratories and securing their NABL accreditation. Out of a total of 107 laboratories, only 5labs in Andhra Pradesh are NABL accredited.
Jal Jeevan Mission is a ‘bottom up’ approach where community plays a vital role starting from planning to implementation, management, operation and maintenance. To achieve this, State Government has to undertake support activities like strengthening the Village Water & Sanitation Committee (VWSC)/ Pani Samiti, developing of Village Action Plan for the next five years, engaging Implementing State Agencies (ISAs) to handhold and support village communities, carry out awareness among people. In the year 2021-22, the State has planned to engage 18 NGOs as Implementing State Agencies (ISAs). Considering large number of villages in Andhra Pradesh, State has to engage more NGOs for capacity building of about one lakh rural persons. Such handholding and capacity building plays a critical role in ensuring long-term sustainability and operation & maintenance of the water supply infrastructure for assured water supply to every home.
Jal Jeevan Mission announced by the Prime Minister on 15th August 2019 from Red Fort is under implementation in partnership with States/ UTs to provide tap water connection to every rural household of the country by 2024. Total budget for Jal Jeevan Mission in 2021-22 is Rs 50,011 Crore. With State’s own resources and Rs 26,940 Crore as 15th Finance Commission tied grant for water and sanitation to RLBs/ PRIs, this year, more than Rs 1 lakh Crore are being invested in rural drinking water supply sector. This is creating new employment opportunities in villages and boosting the rural economy.