New Delhi: ‘Water delivery’ in their home through tap connections is an aspiration for women. It brings dignity to them. It empowers them. It brings safety and security to women and girls. It improves ‘ease of living’ and ensures better ‘quality of life’. With these aspirational goals in mind, Prime Minister launched Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) on 73rd Independence Day i.e. 15 August, 2019 from the ramparts of Red Fort. The mission is under implementation in partnership with States. The goal is to have ‘Har Ghar Jal’- every house in the village is to be provided with tap connection. During 2019-20, in 7 months, more than 84 lakh households were provided with tap connections.
JJM aims to provide functional household tap connections (FHTCs) to every rural household of the country by the year 2024 and thereby ensuring potable water supply in adequate quantity i.e. @ 55 lpcd (Litres per capita per day) of prescribed quality on long-term and regular basis. The programme will benefit all the rural people.
After successfully delivering basic services like cooking gas, road, electricity, housing, health services, banking accounts, the Government is committed now to provide another basic service in the rural areas i.e. ‘Har Ghar Jal’ i.e. every household gets tap connection in its premises, so that the lady of the house does not have to go out to fetch water.
Minister of Jal Shakti is pushing this important agenda of the Union Government to provide ‘Har Ghar Jal’ and talking to Chief Ministers of States on regular basis. This shows the commitment of Ministry of Jal Shakti to provide basic services for the rural people just like that of urban areas.
During current year, so far Rs 8,050 Crore Central fund have been made available with States for implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission. In the first quarter of 2020-21, 19 lakh tap connections have been provided in villages across the country. This has happened because of concerted efforts of the States despite adverse working conditions due to Covid-19 pandemic.
During the lockdown in last 3 months, National Jal Jeevan Mission, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation is constantly interacting with States/ UTs through Video Conferencing to finalize the roadmap as well as review the progress of implementation. During this period, Annual Action Plans of States to provide household tap connections during 2020-21 were approved with focus on monthly physical and expenditure plan.
National Jal Jeevan Mission is working closely with the States to accomplish the task i.e. ‘Har Ghar Jal’ in mission mode and time-bound manner. States are laying emphasis on retrofitting and augmentation of existing water supply schemes to provide household tap connections to remaining households of those villages belonging to poor and marginalized people. States have been asked to start this work in ‘campaign mode’ as these works could provide household tap connections in least possible time as the basic infrastructure is already in place and the household connections need to be given. States have not only prepared the roadmap to provide household connections for this year, detailed plan has been put in place for complete saturation of all villages by setting a target for themselves.
When the whole country is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, Central Government is making all efforts for ‘provision of safe drinking water in rural areas’ by providing tap connections in rural households, so that people can get water in their premises so as to avoid gathering at public stand-posts to fetch water as well as provide employment to locals as well as the returnees, which in turn will boost rural economy.
Following the principles of Gandhiji’s ‘Gram Swaraj’, under Jal Jeevan Mission, local village community/ Gram Panchayats or sub-committee i.e. Village Water & Sanitation Committee/ Paani Samiti/ user groups having 10 – 15 members with 50% women are to be involved in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of water supply systems to ensure long-term sustainability to achieve drinking water security. This is what was envisaged in the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution. The local community will not be at the mercy of any other outside agency.
The mission also aims to ensure a collective effort engaging citizens of the country to achieve Prime Minister’s vision of ensuring potable water to every rural household i.e. to make Jal Jeevan Mission, a ‘Jan Andolan’- people’s movement.