New Delhi : Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot has assured that tap water supply, under Jal Jeevan Mission, to every household in Rajasthan will be provided by 2024. In a virtual meeting with the visiting central team led by the Additional Secretary & Mission Director, National Jal Jeevan Mission, Bharat Lal assured that the JJM will be implemented in the State in mission-mode, ensuring ‘no one is left out’ with focus on sustainable source for assured tap water supply on long term basis. He also emphasized on making the mission a people’ movement.
Bharal Lal, who is in Rajasthan to review the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission, also had a discussion with Chief Secretary, Rajasthan, N. K. Aryaon way forward to make the State ‘Har Ghar Jal’. Additional Chief Secretary, Sudhansh Pant and Director, NJJM, Ms Roopa Mishra were also present in the meeting.
To assist the State to achieve ‘Har Ghar Jal’, Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has also approved Central allocation of Rs 10,180 Crore for Jal Jeevan Mission in 2021-22, a four-fold increase from Rs 2,522.03 Crore allocated in 2020-21. In his letter to the Chief Minister, Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, has assured full assistance to the State for making provision of tap water supply in every rural home by 2024, and urged the CM to expedite the Jal Jeevan Mission implementation.
In 2021-22, Central has allocated Rs 10,180 crore to Rajasthan to implement JJM. With opening balance of Rs 863.53 Crore and matching state share, the total outlay available with State is Rs 21,224.53 Crore for water supply work in 2021-22. Thus, there is no shortage of fund availability.
In 2021-22, Rs 1,712 Crore has been allocated to Rajasthan as 15th Finance 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. This huge investment in rural areas of Rajasthan, will accelerate economic activities and boost rural economy. It will create new employment opportunities in villages.
To address the challenges and expedite the work of providing clean tap water to every household, a virtual conference was organized at Jaipur by the State. More than 800 engineers and district officials attended this important conference. In the conference, Bharat Lal emphasized upon public health engineers to focus on water service delivery. Currently, Rajasthan ranks 26th in the county with respect to tap connection coverage with only 20.1% reach against a national average of 40.9%.
On 15th August 2019, at the time of launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, out of a total of 1.01 Crore households, only11.74 lakh (11.59%) households had tap water connections. In 23 months,8.64 lakh households have been provided tap water connections.Thus, as on date only 20.38 lakh households (20.12%) have tap water supply. State has planned to provide tap water connections to 30 lakh households in 2021-22, 35 lakh tap water connections in 2022-23 and 16.75 lakh tap water connections in 2023-24 to achieve ‘Har Ghar Jal’.
To ensure safe tap water to children in schools, ashramshalas and anganwadi centres in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced 100-days campaign, which was launched by the Union Minister Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on 2nd October 2020. As a result, States/ UTs like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands have made provision of tap water in schools, ashramshalas and anganwadi centres. The progress has been slow in Rajasthan where only 47,176 schools (54%) and 20,511 anganwadi centres (38%) have access to piped water supply. In his letter Shri Shekhawat has asked the Chief Minister, Rajasthan to ensure that in the next few months, provision of safe tap water may be made in all remaining schools and anganwadi centres for better health, improved sanitation and hygiene for children.
He has also emphasized to accord priority to water-scarce areas, quality-affected villages, Aspirational districts, SC/ST majority villages and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna (SAGY) villages, in the State.
Water quality monitoring & surveillance activities are to be given top priority, for which anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, members of Self-Help Groups, PRI members, school teachers etc; are being trained so that they can test water samples for contamination by using Field Test Kits (FTKs). State also needs to upgrade the water testing laboratories and secure NABL accreditation. Out of a total of 54 laboratories, so far only 13labs are NABL accredited.
Jal Jeevan Mission is a ‘bottom up’ approach where community plays a vital role starting from planning to implementation, management, operation and maintenance. To achieve this, State Government has to undertake support activities like strengthening the Village Water & Sanitation Committee (VWSC)/ PaniSamiti, developing of Village Action Plan for the next five years, engaging Implementing State Agencies (ISAs) to handhold and support village communities, carry out awareness among people. Rajasthan hasmade good progress by constituting 42,346 VWSCs against43,323 villages but only 2,707 Village Action Plan have been prepared.
The State has assured that measures are being taken to improve the pace of implementation. Directives have been issued by the state to the Panchayats to organize Gram Sabha meeting on 15th August and prepare the Village Action Plan as a mass campaign.
At the start of the Mission in 2019, out of a total of 18.94 Crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 Crore (17%) had tap water supply. During the last 23 months, despite Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission, has been implemented with speed and 4.49 Crore households have been provided with piped connections. With the increase in coverage by 23.74%, presently 7.73 Crore rural households across the country have tap water supply. Goa, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have achieved 100% household connection in rural areas and has become ‘Har Ghar Jal’. Following the principle of Prime Minister’s vision of ‘SabkaSaath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’, the motto of the Mission is that ‘no one is left out’ and every household in a village should be provided with tap water connection. At present, in 72 districts and in more than 1 lakh villages, every household has tap water supply.