Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, November 22, launched the 'Har Ghar Nal Yojana' (Tap Water To Every Household) for the residents of Uttar Pradesh's Sonbhadra and Mirzapur district.
Launching the scheme through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said that his government was committed to solving the water scarcity problem and hence the scheme worth ₹5,555.38 crores has been put in place for these regions that have stayed neglected since independence.
Reports have highlighted that the initiative would benefit over 41 lakh villagers in the two districts.
"This region is full of natural resources but it has been always ignored since independence. Despite the region having many rivers, it is known for drought. However, this government addressed the problem of water scarcity and as a result, 'Har Ghar Jal Yojana' was launched today," said the Prime Minister, reported Hindustan Times.
"Self reliant villages give strength to a self-reliant India," he added.
PM Modi said that several steps are being taken, through community-based schemes, to empower the villagers, tribals and the marginalised groups. He said that the unfavourable dry conditions have played a key role in the forced migration of many locals.
"Village Water and Sanitation Committees/ Paani Samiti have been constituted in all these villages, who will shoulder the responsibility of operation and maintenance. The total estimated cost of the projects is ₹5,555.38 Crore. The projects are planned to be completed in 24 months," said the Prime Minister.
PM Modi said during the last one and half years from the start of Jal Jeevan Mission more than 2 crore 60 lakh families have been provided piped drinking water connection to their homes, including lakhs of families in Uttar Pradesh. He said a major benefit of this has also been a reduction in the water-borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, encephalitis caused by consumption of polluted water of the poor families.
Highlighting the significance of the move, he added that piped water reaching thousands of villages in Vindhyanchal would help in improving the physical and mental development of the people. He stressed on the fact that health and hygiene should become a significant part of one's life, especially during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking about the measures taken for the upliftment of the tribal population in the region, PM Modi said that schemes are reaching the tribal regions under special targeted projects.
"Hundreds of Eklavya Model schools are operating in such regions, including in Uttar Pradesh. The aim is to provide this facility to every tribal majority block. Projects based on forest-based products are also being implemented. The District Mineral Fund has been established so that there is no dearth of funds for tribal regions and thinking behind such a scheme is that a part of resources generated from such areas are invested locally. In Uttar Pradesh, ₹800 crore have been collected under the fund and more than 6,000 projects have been sanctioned," he explained.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who took part in the programme while he was present in Sonbhadra, revealed that since independence only 398 villages got piped water supply in the two districts.
However, with this scheme, the government estimated that at least 2,995 villages would be benefitted and thus ensure the availability of tap water at every household in the region.
The scheme would be useful to 21,87,980 villagers in Mirzapur and 19,53,458 families would benefit from the scheme in Sonbhadra. Additionally, the lakes and rivers would be purified before diverting the water to houses. Rs 3212.18 crore and Rs 2343.20 crore would be spent under the scheme in Sonbhadra and Mirzapur respectively.
According to the Jal Shakti Ministry, a total of 41,41,438 families will be benefited from the scheme in both the districts. The scheme which is scheduled to be completed within the next two years includes the time that would be taken for the actual water supply to start.