Himachal Pradesh is on its way to achieve the target of providing clean tap water supply to every rural household by 2024. In its press release, the government said that the centre is providing complete assistance to reach its target of delivering tap water connections to each and every individual of the state.
Appreciating the progress, Vini Mahajan, Secretary Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) said that the 'central government's Jal Jeevan Mission' is a decentralised, demand-driven, community-managed water supply scheme that aims to improve the lives of rural people by providing clean tap water supply to every home.
She appreciated the excellent work undertaken in the Himalayan state and time-to-time campaigns launched by the state government.
"The efforts have helped in community engagement and public sensitisation on judicious use of water and its conservation to ensure its regular supply with adequate pressure," she said, according to PIB.
By providing 100 per cent tap water connection in school and anganwadis, Mahajan said that it would help reduce water-borne ailments among children as safe water is provided to them for drinking and cooking mid-day meals to the school administration.
"Providing water in learning centres enables hand washing and toilet usage, which is essential during the ongoing pandemic," she said.
Ranks 8th In Providing Tap Water To Rural Households
Currently, Himachal Pradesh ranks 8th in the country to provide tap water connection to rural households. The state will give the remaining tap water connections within a few months.
Speaking on the implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission, Mahajan said, "While the districts have self-declared themselves Open Defecation Free, but this is not a one-time effort. Efforts under the programme are being made to bring about social and behaviour change for sustainability of the ODF status of villages at all times."
Shri Ram Saubhag Singh, Chief Secretary, Himachal Pradesh said when the central government announced Jal Jeevan Mission on August 15, 2019, only 7.62 lakh (44.19%) households out of the total 17.27 lakh in the state had access to tap water supply. In nearly 28 months, 8.25 lakh households have been provided with the supply of clean drinking water.
"The achievement made by the state is noteworthy because of COVID-19, lockdowns and difficult terrain,' Singh said.
Working in line with 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas', Jal Jeevan Mission's motto is 'no one is left out' and it aims at universal access to the potable tap water supply.
During the beginning of the mission in 2019, out of 19.20 crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 Crore (17%) had a tap water supply. In the last 28 months, 5.60 crore rural households have been provided with tap water connections despite the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns disruptions.
Currently, 8.84 crores (45.95%) rural households have a tap water supply. Goa, Telangana, Haryana and UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Puducherry, Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu have ensured 100% household tap connection in rural areas. At present, every household in 91 districts and more than 1.32 lakh villages are receiving water supply in their homes.