NET News Desk
The Union Ministry of Jal Shakti has written to Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu for expeditious implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in the State. The mission is a flagship programme that aims to improve the lives of rural people by providing safe drinking water to every rural household through household tap connections by 2024.
This approach of decentralized, demand-driven, community-managed water supply schemes at village/ habitation level is perceived as a major reform in the drinking water sector in India. Being implemented in partnership with States, the Mission aims to enable every rural household has assured availability of potable water at a service level of 55 litres per capita per day (lpcd) on regular and long-term basis so as to bring improvements in lives of rural folks.
The Arunachal Pradesh government has planned to provide 100 percent tap connections to all the households of the State by March 2023. The Centre has allocated Rs. 255 crore for the State under Jal Jeevan Mission in 2020-21. However, the State will be given additional funds in the form of performance grants based on their achievement in terms of tangible outputs i.e. the household tap connections and commensurate financial progress.
The State will get Rs. 231 Crore under 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs during 2020-21 where 50 per cent of this amount has to be mandatorily to be spent on water and sanitation.
Till now the State has provided potable running water to 37,000 out of 2.18 lakh total rural households. The State is planning to provide 77,000 tap connections in 2020-21. While thrust is given on covering households in aspiring districts, quality-affected habitations, Sansad Adarsh Gramin Yojana villages, etc. on priority, a press release stated.
The Jal Shakti Union Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat urged Khandu to focus on retrofitting and augmentation of piped water supply schemes already existing in the villages and habitations, so that remaining household could be provided with tap connections easily in the least possible time, in ‘campaign mode’. The Union Minister felt that during the COVID–19 it’s the endeavour of the Government that people don’t crowd public stand posts and drinking water sources. Shekhawat requested Khandu to take up water supply works in villages on immediate basis to provide household tap connections, which will help in practising social distancing, and will additionally help local people in getting employment and boost the rural economy.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission, water quality testing laboratories at district & state levels are given priority. Community is being involved for surveillance of water quality, a press release stated.
Being a decentralized programme, local community will play a pivotal role in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of water supply systems in villages to ensure long-term sustainability. Local communities are encouraged to take responsibility of water supply systems in villages for regular upkeep and operation and maintenance. In all villages, IEC campaign along with community mobilization needs to be taken up to make Jal Jeevan Mission truly a people’s movement.
Moreover, skilling activities are planned so that unemployed youth could be trained in plumbing, masonry, fitting, pump operation, etc. so that a pool of trained human resources could be available at village level and engaged locally, which will help in long-term operation and maintenance of schemes without depending on outside agencies.
Minister of Jal Shakti assured Arunachal Pradesh CM of his full support to make the State a ‘100% FHTCs’ State i.e. ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State and intends to discuss the planning and implementation of JJM with the CM through video conferencing soon.