New Delhi: In order to achieve the goal of “Har Ghar Jal” i.e. providing every household with assured tap water supply on regular and long-term basis, the National Jal Jeevan Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India has allocated Rs. 3,410.61 Crore grant to the state of Gujarat under the Jal Jeevan Mission for the year 2021-22, out of which the first tranche of Rs. 852.65 Crores has been released. Union Minister Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat approved the four-fold increase in allocation of grant to the State of Gujarat for water supply. The Central Government’s allocation for the year 2019-20 was Rs. 390.31 Crores, which was raised to Rs. 883.08 Crore in 2020-21.
The life changing ‘Jal Jeevan Mission-Har Ghar Jal’ was launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 15th August, 2019 to ensure potable tap water supply to every rural home by 2024 to improve the lives of people living in villages especially women and girls. In Gujarat, during 2020-21, 10.94 Lakh rural households have been provided tap water connections and in 2021-22 also, the state plans to provide more than 10 lakh households with tap water connections. Gujarat has 92.92 Lakh rural households, out of which now 77.21 Lakh (83%) households are having piped water supply.
Last year, during the review meeting with Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Shekhawat, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijay Rupani promised to implement Jal Jeevan Mission with speed and on scale to ensure tap water supply to every rural household in the State by 2022, two years before the national target.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has laid emphasis on ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas’. Jal Jeevan Mission is one of the finest examples of this principle and endeavor is to ensure that every household in the village has tap water supply. In Gujarat, out of about 18 thousand villages, in more than 6,700 village, tap water supply to every household has been ensured. In 2020-21, about 5,900 villages were made ‘Har Ghar Jal’ by providing each and every home a functional tap water connection. In 5 districts of the State, every rural household is having tap water supply.
As per Annual Action Plan of the State approved by the National Jal Jeevan Mission, another 18 districts and 6,400 more villages will have 100% coverage with tap water supply. In accordance to the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ‘no one is left out’, National Jal Jeevan Mission is working with the State Government to ensure that in all villages having piped water supply system, every household is provided with tap water connection on priority. It is expected that in next few months, more than 12 thousand villages and 23 districts of Gujarat will become ‘Har Ghar Villages’ i.e. every household with tap water supply.
Under the 100-days campaign announced by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and launched on 2nd October 2020 to provide tap water supply in schools, anganwadi centres and ashramshalas, State Government ensured tap water connections in all 29,754 rural schools and 42,279 anganwadi centres. It has also provided hand-washing facilities in 98.5% schools and about 91% anganwadi centres. This campaign and its successful implementation have ensured that safe water is now available to our children in all learning and day-care centres, thus facilitating their better health, improved sanitation and hygiene.
Gujarat has been a pioneer in the country for community engagement and setting up of Pani Samitis for rural drinking water supply. This was started with setting up of Water and Sanitation Management Organization (WASMO) in early 2002. In 17,255 villages, there are 10-15 members Village Water & Sanitation Committees (VWSCs) playing an active role in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of the water supply systems in villages. So far, in 17,107 villages, 5-year Village Action Plans (VAPs) co-terminus with 15th Finance commission grant period, have been prepared, to ensure long-term water security and improved sanitation. It is a ‘bottom up’ approach where community plays a critical role from the beginning. They map the water sources available and based on the requirement in the village, prepare a plan with the technical support from the public health engineers.
The State has built partnership with NGOs/ CBOs and voluntary organizations to work as Implementation Support Agency (ISAs) to mobilize and hand hold the local community. At present, 21 such ISAs are working and another 25 are planned to be engaged as ISAs. This team along with 400 strong team of social mobilisers available with WASMO will hand hold the community for preparation of village action plan, grey water management, O&M and source strengthening etc. This year, State Government has planned to take up capacity building and training as one of the major activities. It is planned to train more than 8 thousand people from Pani Samiti, public health engineers, ISAs, etc. to ensure functionality of water supply schemes and tap water connections to every household. This will have long-term impact on achieving water security to every family in the State.
The State has accelerated providing tap water connections in Aspirational districts and SAGY villages. Gujarat has a total of 86 water-testing laboratories of which 8 are NABL accredited. State has planned to get all district level laboratories NABL accredited in next few months. To strengthen the monitoring of tap water provided to rural households, Gujarat has taken up smart water monitoring in 20 villages. Four pilots have already started in Dahod district. The state is planning to take up more than 500 villages this year for IoT (Internet of Things) based smart water supply monitoring.
The Jal Jeevan Mission under implementation in partnership with States/ UTs is creating new employment opportunities in villages and boosting the rural economy by investing more than Rs. 1 Lakh Crore this year in rural drinking water supply sector, including Rs. 50,000 Crores budget for Jal Jeevan Mission in 2021-22, matching resources from the State, and Rs. 26,940 Crore 15th Finance Commission tied funds for water and sanitation to PRIs.