Indian Economy News

315 water supply schemes to benefit 7.97 lakh households in 4,424 villages of Jharkhand

Jharkhand's Jal Jeevan Mission has authorised 315 water supply schemes worth Rs. 9,544 crores (US$ 1.28 billion). About 0.8 million rural residents in 4,424 villages across the state will benefit from these projects, which will provide tap water.

Only 3.45 lakh (5.83 percent) of rural families in Jharkhand had access to tap water on August 15, 2019, when the Jal Jeevan Mission was launched. Despite the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown disruptions, the State has connected 6.73 lakh (11.38 percent) homes to tap water in just 28 months. As of now, 10.18 lakh (17.20 percent) of the 59.23 lakh rural households in the state have access to running water.

There is a provision in the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) for the establishment of a State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee (SLSSC) to review and approve proposals for providing tap water to rural households. The SLSSC is a State-level body that considers water supply programmes and projects, and a member of the committee is a nominee of the Government of India's National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM).

Union Minister Mr Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, has allocated Rs. 2,479.88 crores (US$ 330 million) this year, a four-fold increase over last year's budget. While approving the four-fold increase, Union Minister has pledged full support to the State in ensuring that tap water is available in every rural home by 2024. So far, Rs 512.22 crore (US$ 69 million) has been provided to Jharkhand to ensure that the 'Har Ghar Jal' initiative may be implemented as quickly as possible. Further funds will be granted to the State as mission work progresses physically and the State's financial situation improves. The Government of India is committed to assisting states in ensuring that every rural household has access to safe drinking water.

In addition, Jharkhand has been allotted Rs 750 crore (US$ 10 million) as a 15th Finance Commission tied grant for water and sanitation to Rural Local Bodies/PRIs in 2021-22. A funding commitment of Rs 3,952 crore (US$ 530 million) has been made for the next five years, up to 2025-26.

The NJJM team underlined the importance of quick implementation, effective community participation, assuring the quality of work completed, and effective monitoring for proper money utilisation during the discussion.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi declared a 100-day campaign on 2 October 2020, which was inaugurated by Union Minister Mr Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to ensure safe tap water for children in schools, ashramshalas, and anganwadi centres across the country.

Jal Jeevan Mission is done in a decentralised way using a 'bottom up' strategy, in which the local village community takes a significant part in all aspects of the project, from design to execution, management, and operation and maintenance. To do so, the State Government must support activities such as strengthening the Village Water and Sanitation Committee (VWSC)/ Pani Samiti, developing a Village Action Plan for each village for the next five years, enlisting Implementing State Agencies (ISAs) to assist and support village communities, and conducting massive public awareness campaigns. Jharkhand needs to train over 2 lakh individuals in rural areas to ensure long-term sustainability and operation and maintenance of the water delivery infrastructure so that everyone has access to safe drinking water.

The community is urged to conduct periodic surveillance of water sources and delivery points as part of the Jal Jeevan Mission to ensure the quality of the water supplied. Village communities are being trained and assisted by the PHE Department to conduct regular water quality testing in their villages. 'Jal Sahiyas' play a significant role in water quality testing in Jharkhand.

With an emphasis on public health, 30 water quality testing laboratories have been opened to the general public in Jharkhand, allowing individuals to have their water samples tested whenever they want at a low cost.

Working under the principles of 'SabkaSath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and SabkaPrayas,' Jal Jeevan Mission's motto is 'no one is left behind,' and it strives to provide universal access to safe drinking water. Currently, 8.74 crore (45.51 percent) of rural households in the country have access to running water. In rural areas, the states of Goa, Telangana, Haryana, and the UTs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry, D&NH, and D&D have ensured 100% household tap connection. Every household in 84 districts and more than 1.30 lakh villages now has access to safe drinking water.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.