Multi-disciplinary team from National Jal Jeevan Mission visits Rajasthan

New Delhi : A multi-disciplinary 10-member team from National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) is visiting Rajasthanfrom 18thto 21stOctober, 2021 in five districts ofBaran, Dausa, Jodhpur, Bhilwaraand Jaipur. NJJM team will daily visit 3-5 villages in each district. Various aspects of programme implementation and progress made under the mission by the State will be discussed to understand the ground situation and assess the State’s preparedness to meet the saturation deadline for ensuring 100% tap water supply to all rural households. During the visit, the team will interact with district officials, local village community, members of Gram Panchayat and PaniSamiti. Thereafter the team will debrief and share their observations with the district officials as well as senior officers of the State Government.

Rajasthan plansfor 100% tap water connection to all rural households by 2024. Out of 1.01 Crorerural households in the State,only 11.74 lakh (11.59%) rural households had tap water supply as on 15th August 2019, when Jal Jeevan Mission was announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister.

Despite lockdown and disruptions due to Covid-19 pandemic, in last 2 years, 9.48 lakh households (9.36%) have been provided tap water connections. Today, 21.22 lakh rural homes(20.95%)in the State have tap water supply. Rajasthan faces extreme water scarcity in many parts of the State as it is a desert-prone area which receives scanty rainfall. The need for providing safe drinking water therefore becomes very important and urgent in the State.

In 2020-21, Rs 2,522.03 Crore Central grant was allocated to Rajasthan but it could draw only Rs 630.51 Crore due to slow pace of implementation.To assist the State to provide tap water supply to every household by 2024, Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has increased the Central allocation four-folds. Rs 10,180.50 Crore Central fund allocation for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in the State during 2021-22. With enhanced Central allocation and matching State share,Rajasthan has no dearth of funds under Jal Jeevan Mission for water supply works. However, the State is yet to draw the first tranche of Central allocation due to slow physical and financial progress.

In addition to this, in 2021-22, Rs 1,712 Crore has been allocated to Rajasthan as 15thFinance Commission tied grant for water & sanitation to Rural Local Bodies/ PRIs. There is an assured funding of Rs 9,032 Crore for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26.

Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawatwho himself is a Member of Parliament from Jodhpur has written to the Chief Minister of Rajasthan emphasizing that the work of providing tap water connection should start in all the villages to achieve the goal in a time-bound manner. Union Minister had urged the State to make all out efforts to receive and utilize the entire Central grant-in-aid available.

To ensure tap water reaches every learning centre which includes schools, anganwadicentre and ashramshalas, efforts are made by every State to make provision of tap water supply in these institutions for drinking, cooking mid-day meal, washing hands and use in toilets. As of now, 54,851 (63%) schools, 25,934 (48%) Anganwadicentre and 18,799 GP and CHCs (62%) in the State have been provided with tap water connection. The State has been requested to ensure piped water supply to remaining schools and AWCs at the earliest.

With focus on public health, nation-wide online Water Quality Management Information System (WQMIS) has been launched, which is in line of Covid-19 testing and reporting system, by using the reports generated from water quality testing through FTKs as well as laboratories. More than 2,000 water quality testing laboratories in the country have been opened to general public for testing their water samples at a nominal cost.

At the time of announcement of JJM on 15th August 2019, out of a total 18.93 Crore rural households, 3.23 Crore rural households (17%) of the country had tap water supply. Since then, over 5.11 Crore (26.60%) families living in rural areas have been provided with tap water connections. Now, more than 8.35 Crore (43.44%) rural households have assured potable tap water supply in their homes, improving their quality of life and enhancing ‘ease of living’. Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent disruptions have affected the implementation of JJM on the ground but, National Jal Jeevan Mission is working closely with States/ UTs to sustain the momentum to provide tap water connections to remaining rural households in a time-bound manner.