Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat reviews implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission with Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu

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New Delhi: Union Minister of Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat held a review meeting with Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri Edappadi K. Palaniswamiregarding implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in the State through video conferencing today. Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is under implementation in partnership with Statesto provide drinking water to every rural household of the country. The objective of the Mission is universal coverage i.e. every family in the village gets tap water connection in their households.

Jal Jeevan Mission aims at assured supply of potable water in adequate quantity (@ the rate of 55 litres per person per day) and of prescribed quality to every rural household on regular and long-term basis. The provision of household tap connection in rural areas will help in removing ‘drudgery’ of women, especially the girls. It will also improve the ‘ease of living’ for people living in rural areas.

Tamil Naduis planning 100% coverage by 2024 to accomplish the target of providing tap connection to every rural household of the State.So far, out of 126.89 lakh rural households in Tamil Nadu, 25.98 lakh(20.45%) are provided withtap connections. In terms of household tap connections, the State stands at 17th position in the whole country. In 2020-21, Tamil Nadu plans to provide tap connections in 33.94 lakh households.

The Union Minister had a detailed discussion on the progress of the mission in the State with the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister assured expeditious implementation of the mission in the State so as to provide household tap connections in rural areas to every family in a time-bound manner.

Emphasizing the importance of the mission to improve the lives of rural people, Union Minister stressed on augmentation and retrofitting of existing water supply schemes in 12,523 villages and urged to start this work in campaign modeso as in next 4-6 months, remaining households of these villages get tap connections.State can provide 55-60 lakh households tap water connections from existing piped water supply system. It was further urged that the State should focus on functionality of the existing water supply systems, so that service delivery to households is not disrupted, for which proper measurement and monitoring system should be put in place to monitor the quality, quantity and regularity of water supply.

The Chief Minister was requested to regularly review the program me to provide safe drinking water in 236 Fluoride affected habitations of the State by December, 2020.It was also requested to provide piped water supply to 2,679 villages in six JE/ AES affected districts as well as all households in 879 villages of two aspirational districts of Ramanathpuram and Viruddhnagar.

Minister Shri Shekhawat reiterated the commitment of Union Government to provide all assistance to the State to achieve this goal. For Jal Jeevan Mission, funds are provided by Government of India based on the output in terms of tap connections provided and the utilization of available Central fund and matching State share. Minister of Jal Shakti assured Tamil Nadu Chief Minister of his full support to make the State a ‘100% FHTCs’ State.

In 2020-21, 921.99Crore have been allocated and including State share there is assured availability of ₹2,108.07Crore. State is eligible for additional allocation based on physical and financial performance. Since Tamil Naduhas been allocated ₹ 3,607 Crore under 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs and 50% of this is to be mandatorily used for water supply and sanitation, Shri Shekhawat requested the Chief Minister to plan for utilizing this fund for rural water supply, grey-water treatment and re-use, and most importantly for ensuring long-term operation and maintenance of water supply schemes for assured service delivery. It was also stressed to dovetail different sources of funding like MGNREGS, JJM, Swachh Bharat Mission (G), District Mineral Development Fund, 15th Finance Commission Grants to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), CSR Funds, etc. at village level by judicious use of resources for strengthening of water sources, water supply, grey water treatment & re-use, operation & maintenance, etc.

Union Minister further emphasized on preparation of Village Action Plans (VAP) as well as constitution of Village Water and Sanitation Committee as a sub-committee of Gram Panchayat with minimum 50% of women members, responsible for planning, designing, implementing and operating & maintaining of in-village water supply infrastructure.All villages have to prepare Village Action Plan (VAP), which essentially will comprise of development/ augmentation of drinking water sources, water supply, grey-water management and operation & maintenance component.The State was requested for training of 5 persons especially women in villages for use of field test kits, so that water could be tested locally. Issues regarding water resource management in the State and abatement of pollution in the Cauvery River were also discussed in detail.

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