Until earlier this year, residents of Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur had to walk and trek miles for potable water. But with consistent efforts of administrative authorities and the local population, the town now ranks first in providing tap water connections under the government's Jal Jeevan Mission scheme.
Until October, while 88,823 houses have received clean drinking water following the installation of taps under the scheme, the district has had 28,653 taps installed in October alone.
Water Provided After Intervention From Authorities
Shahjahanpur residents frequently complained to authorities about the dearth of water resources in the town. While hand pumps were built in remote locations, most were inoperable. Furthermore, a single pump was used by around 150 persons. Ironically, while rivers such as Ganga, Ram Ganga, Bahubal, Khannaut, and Gaara border the district, its residents suffered for years due to a lack of access to clean water.
District Magistrate Umesh Pratap Singh, as per a report by The Economic Times, said that he saw long lines of locals waiting at hand pumps and consequently called a meeting with Jal Jeevan Mission representatives to discuss the problem. When they visited the region for a primary inspection, they found that the water in the tap was polluted and not fit for drinking or household chores. After necessary intervention and surveying, taps were installed in the houses, ending the woes of the residents.
Earlier, since the villagers had to fetch water from far away, they would have to start the day much early and only start with household chores once the water was brought to the house. However, with the installation of taps, residents have stated that they don't have to compromise on sleep and can instead access clean water from the comfort of their houses.
More Water Tanks To Be Built
According to district administration authorities, 103 rural locations now have water tanks, up from 25 in 2019, allowing them to offer direct connections to households. The district magistrate said, "Our target is to build water tanks at 1,033 places in the district. The land is available at 1,026 places. Work pertaining to building 650 tanks will start soon". He added that 350 water tanks are nearing completion.
Singh said, "We are giving pure water, adding chlorine to the water because of which bacteria and viruses get killed. Besides, two women have been trained in each village and they have been tasked with maintaining the water purity by conducting tests regularly. They also send test reports to the government."
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