New Delhi: The Jal Jeevan Mission announced by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 15th August, 2019 with the aim to provide tap water connection to every rural household by 2024 has reached a new milestone by providing 3.53 Crore rural household tap water connections. As on 15th August 2019, out of 18.93 Crore rural households, 3.23 Crore (17%) had tap water connections. The untiring efforts of States/ UTs have helped Jal Jeevan Mission provide 3.53 Crore tap water connections. Further, every family living in 52 districts and 77 thousand villages are getting assured tap water supply in their homes. Now 6.76 Crore (35.24%) i.e. more than 1/3rd of rural households are getting potable water through taps. Goa has become the first State in the country to provide 100% tap water connection followed by Telangana. States/ UTs are now competing with each other and focusing on the target to ensure that every household in the country gets safe drinking water adhering to the core principle of ‘equity & inclusiveness’.
Jal Jeevan Mission is working in partnership with the States with an aim to provide potable water in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis. Extensive planning exercise was undertaken by the States/ UTs following ‘bottom-up approach’. Accordingly, they have firmed up the Action Plan to provide tap water connection to every rural household. While implementing, States are giving priority to water quality-affected areas, village in drought prone and desert areas, Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe majority villages, aspirational districts and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna villages.
Jal Jeevan Mission journey so far has been filled with challenges and disruptions as the entire world battled with CoVid-19 pandemic. All developmental and construction work has got badly affected during lockdown in most parts of the country. Hand washing has become the most important tool for safety of individuals to fight the pandemic. States/ UTs continued building water supply infrastructure following precautions like social distancing and using masks. Continuous work despite CoVid-19 proved to be a boon for the villages, which provided employment to the migrants who had returned to their villages. The labour force which returned to their hometown were skilled in construction work and had in the past worked as masons, plumbers, fitters, pump operators in the cities.
Potable water supply to water quality-affected habitations is a top priority under Jal Jeevan Mission. Efforts are made to ensure safe drinking water to all quality-affected villages especially Arsenic and Fluoride affected rural habitations. JJM gives highest priority to potability of drinking water, which will reduce water-borne diseases and improve health of people. States/ UTs are upgrading water quality testing laboratories and opening them to public enabling them to get their water samples tested at nominal rates.