New Delhi : A multi-disciplinary team from the National Jal Jeevan Mission is visiting Jharkhand during 6- 9 September, 2021 in fourdistricts ofRanchi, Dhanbad, Khunti, and Hazaribagh. During the visit of NJJM team to the State, teammembers are visiting 3-5 villages daily in the district depending on the feasibility. The visiting team will discuss various aspects of progress and implementation of the mission in the State, understanding ground situation as well as discuss about the saturation plan for 100% coverage of households for making provision of tap water connections. They are interacting with district officials, local village community, members of Gram Panchayats, etc. After the visit to districts, they will interact with the State team.
JharkhandState is planning 100% FHTCs to all households by 2023-24. Out of 59.24lakhrural households in the State,8.60 lakh (14.5%) households tap water connections. On 15th August, 2019, at the time of launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, only 3.45 lakh (5.85%) rural households in Jharkhand had tap water supply. In 24 months, 5.15 lakh households (8.7%) in the State have been provided tap water connections. However, in comparison to national average of 23% increase in providing tap water supply in rural households, the progress made in Jharkhand is very slow.
In 2020-21, Rs 572.24 Crore Central grant was allocated to the State but it could draw only Rs 143.06 Crore and surrendered Rs 429.18 Crore meant for tap water supply in rural areas 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 to Rs 2,479.88 Crore. With this enhanced Central allocation, and matching State’s share of Rs 2,617.81 Crore, Jharkhand has an assured availability of Rs 5,235.62 Crore under Jal Jeevan Mission for water supply works in 2021-22. However, the State is yet to draw the first tranche of Central allocation due to poor physical and financial progress.
In addition to this, in 2021-22, Rs 750 Crore has been allocated to Jharkhand as 15th Finance Commission tied grant for water & sanitation to Rural Local Bodies/ PRIs. There is an assured funding of Rs 3,952 Crore for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26.
Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has written to the Chief Minister of Jharkhand emphasizing that the work of providing tap water connections should start in all the villages to achieve the goal in a time-bound manner. Shri Shekhawat has hoped that the enhanced allocation will enable the State to expedite the implementation to achieve various planned activities under Jal Jeevan Mission. The Union Minister has urged the State to make all out efforts to receive and utilize the entire Central grant-in-aid available.
Jal Jeevan Mission is implemented in a decentralized manner following the ‘bottom up’ approach, wherein the local village community plays a key role starting from planning to implementation, management to operation and maintenance. To achieve this, the State Government has to undertake support activities like strengthening the Village Water & Sanitation Committee (VWSC)/ Pani Samiti, developing of Village Action Plan for each village for the next five years, engaging Implementing State Agencies (ISAs) to handhold and support village communities, carry out massive awareness among people. Jharkhand needs to train more than 2 lakh people in rural areas to ensure long-term sustainability and operation & maintenance of the water supply infrastructure for assured water supply to every home.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission, community is being encouraged to carry out surveillance of water sources and delivery points from time-to-time to ascertain the quality of water supplied. PHE Department is training and facilitating the village communities to undertake regular water quality testing in their villages. For this, timely procurement and supply of Field Test Kits (FTKs) to the Panchayats, identification of at least five women in every village for community engagement, training them on using FTKs and reporting the test result findings are given priority.
With focus on public health, nation-wide online Water Quality Management Information System (WQMIS) has been launched, which is in the 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.
Jal Jeevan Mission announced by the Prime Minister on 15th August 2019, is under implementation in partnership with Statesto 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. Such huge investment in rural areas of the country, will certainly accelerate economic activities and also boost the rural economy by generating new employment opportunities in villages.
At the time of announcement of JJM on 15th August 2019, out of total 18.93 Crore rural households, 3.23 Crore rural households (17%) of the country had tap water connections. Since then, over 4.87 Crore (25.25%) families living in rural areas have been provided with tap water connections in their homes. Now, out of total 19.23 Crore rural households, more than 8.11 Crore (42.2%) rural families of the country 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 rural households.