Jal Jeevan Mission: Maharashtra presents its Annual Action Plan for 2021-22

New Delhi: The State of Maharashtra presented their Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) Annual Action Plan today via video conference with details of theplan for the financial year 2021-22 as well as saturation plan for the whole State toprovide tap water connection to every rural household.Maharashtra has 1.42 Crore rural households, out of which 91 lakh (64%) are getting tap water supply. In 2021-22, the State plans to provide 27.45 lakh tap connections. The State proposes to make 13 districts, 131 blocks, and 12,839 villages ‘Har Ghar Jal’ aiming at 100% coverage. In 2020-21, Rs 1828.92 Crore Central fund was allocated to the State to provide assured tap water supply, out of which the State could draw only Rs. 457 Crore. In 2021-22, the State is likely to get about Rs 3,000 Crore of Central funds under JJM.

In 2020-21, Maharashtra has provided 37.15 lakh tap water connections in rural areas. So far, 1 district, 20 blocks and 7,737 villages in Maharashtra have been declared ‘Har Ghar Jal’, which means every rural household has tap water supply. JJM is empowering the local village community as it is not just providing ‘ease of living’ to women and young girls who are primarily the water managers in every household but also enabling them to pursue education, learn different vocations, upgrade their skill and spend time with the family which was otherwise used to travel long distances to fetch water.

The State is planning skill training of 42 thousand personnel that includes State & District Water and Sanitation Mission officials, Engineering cadre (Superintendent Engineer, Executive Engineer, Assistant Engineer and Junior Engineer), State & District Programme Management Unit staff, VWSC members, swachhagrahis, ISA members, team of Nehru Yuvak Kendra and members of SHGs. About 76 thousand in the State will be trained as mason, plumber, fitter, motor mechanic, pump operator, etc., whose services will be used in creation of water supply infrastructure as well as their operation and maintenance.

Under Jal Jeevan Mission, local community is being encouraged for surveillance of water quality. PHE Department is facilitating to empower and engage with the community. For this, an action plan is carried out to incorporate activities like timely procurement and supply of field test kits to the community, identification of at least five women in every village for community engagement, training women on how to use the Field Test Kits and reporting the test result findings. Maharashtra has undertaken 100% chemical tests of water sources and delivery points as planned in 2020-21. There is need for the State to set up district water testing laboratories and get NABL accreditation for the existing ones so that people are able to get their water tests conducted at nominal rates in case they have any doubt or concern regarding the quality of water supplied in their homes.

Theextensive exercise of taking up the Annual Action Plan (AAP) of States/ UTs under Jal Jeevan Mission, is done by a national committee chaired by the Secretary, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, members from different Central Ministries/ Departments and NITI Aayog. Thereafter, funds are released throughout the year based on the progress and expenditure incurred. The detailed planning exercise is undertaken tohelp the State to achieve the goalof ‘Har Ghar Jal’.

The Annual action Plan emphasizes on drinking water source strengthening/ augmentation, water supply works to provide household tap connections, greywater treatment & reuse, and operation & maintenance, various support activities including IEC plan, training of stakeholders, community mobilization, water quality surveillance and monitoring, strengthening of water testing laboratories and their NABL accreditation, etc.

JJM is a flagship programme of the Union Government, which aims to provide tap water connection to every rural household in 2020-21. In 2021-22, in addition to Rs 50,011 Crore budgetary allocation for JJM, there is also Rs 26,940 Crore assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied-grant to RLB/ PRIs for water & sanitation, matching State share and externally aided as well as State funded projects. Thus, in 2021-22, more than Rs. 1 lakh Crore is planned to be invested in the country on ensuring tap water supply to rural homes. This kind of investment in rural areas will boost the rural economy.

Jal Jeevan Mission focusseson development of Village Action Plan (VAP) and constitution of Pani Samitifor every village so that in the local community plays a key role in planning, implementing, operating and maintaining the water supply infrastructure created for them. Efforts are made to dovetail all available resources by convergence of different programmes viz. MGNREGS, SBM, 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs, CAMPA funds, Local Area Development Funds, etc.