Uttarakhand Plans To Provide Tap Water Connections To 15.18 Lakh Rural Households By 2022

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Uttarakhand Plans To Provide Tap Water Connections To 15.18 Lakh Rural Households By 2022

As of date, out of 15.18 lakh rural households in Uttarakhand, 7.41 lakh (48.79%) get tap water supply in their houses. In 2021-22, the state government plans to provide water supply to 2.64 lakh families.

Drinking water supply schemes worth Rs 225.24 crore have been approved for Uttarakhand in the State-level scheme sanctioning committee (SLSSC) meeting held on November 26, 2021. Under these schemes, 293 villages spread to more than seven districts of the state will get tap water connections. Out of the 12 water supply schemes, 11 are multi-village and one is a single village scheme, which will help in providing tap water connection to more than 19,000 rural households.

As of date, out of 15.18 lakh rural households in Uttarakhand, 7.41 lakh (48.79%) get tap water supply in their houses. In 2021-22, the state government plans to provide water supply to 2.64 lakh families.

Under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), there is provision for the constitution of the State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee (SLSSC) for consideration and approval of schemes to be taken up for giving tap water supply to rural families. The SLSSC acts as a State-level Committee to consider water supply schemes and projects, while the central government's National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) is a committee member, according to a press release by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.

To ensure a clean tap water supply in every household and free women and girls from the drudgery of fetching water from long distances, the Mission has released Rs. 360.95 crore grant–in–aid to Uttarakhand during 2021-22. In 2019-20, the BJP government had allocated Rs. 170.53 crore for implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission. This year, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat provided Rs. 1,443.80 crore which is a four-fold increase from 2020. While approving the four-fold increase, Union Minister Jal Shakti assured complete assistance to the state to provide tap water supply in every rural household by December 2022.

Tap Water Connections To 6.11 Lakh Households

During the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission on August 15, 2019, only 1.30 lakh (8.58%) households had a drinking water supply through taps. In just over two months, despite disruptions faced during the Covid-19 pandemic followed by subsequent lockdowns, the Uttarakhand government provided tap water connections to 6.11 lakh (40.21%) households.

To accelerate the speed of JJM implementation, National Jal Jeevan Mission has asked the state to take the requisite steps to provide tap water supply to 2.64 lakh rural households by 2021. With this year's central allocation of Rs. 1,443.80 crores and with an opening balance of Rs. 111.22 crores available with the state government, Uttarakhand's matching share of 2021-22 and shortfall in matching state share of previous years, the total assured fund available for the implementation of JJM is Rs. 1,733 crores. Therefore, the central government ensures that there is no lack of funds to implement this transformational mission.

In addition, Rs. 256 crore has been allocated to the state as the 15th Finance Commission tied grant for water and sanitation to Rural Local Bodies in 2021-22. There is assured funding of Rs. 1,344 crores tied grant for the next five years, i.e. up to 2025-26. This considerable investment in the state's rural areas will accelerate economic activities and also boost the rural economy. It will create income-generating opportunities in many villages.

The NJJM team stressed the need for successful community contribution and including the provision of greywater management through convergence in the water supply schemes as it's a vital component of the Jal Jeevan Mission.

Water quality monitoring and surveillance activities are prioritised by imparting training to five women in each village, for regular testing of drinking water sources and delivery points using Field Test Kits (FTKs). So far, over 38 thousand women have been trained to use FTKs. Water testing laboratories are open for the general public to test their water samples at a nominal rate.

Under Jal Jeevan Mission, water quality-affected habitations, SC/ ST majority villages, Aspirational & JE/ AES affected districts, SAGY villages in Uttarakhand are prioritised. 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 aims at universal access to the potable tap water supply.

During the last 27 months, despite the pandemic and lockdowns disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission has been implemented with speed and presently, 5.32 crore rural households have been provided with tap water connections. When the mission was started in 2019, out of 19.20 crores rural households in the country, only 3.23 crores (17%) had a tap water connection. Currently, 8.56 Crore (44.52%) rural households across the country have tap water supply. Haryana, Telangana, Goa and UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu have ensured 100% household tap connection in rural areas. Currently, every household in 83 districts and more than 1.24 lakh villages is receiving tap water supply.

Where Does Rural India Stand In Clean Drinking Water?

In 2015, India achieved 93% coverage of access to an improved water supply to rural communities. However, with the shift from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the new baseline estimates that below 49 per cent of the rural people are using safely managed drinking water, according to UNICEF.

As of August 2017, 96% of rural habitations have access to safe drinking water in India. In 2011, the Ministry came out with a strategic plan for the period 2011-22. The project identified specific standards for coverage of habitations with water supply, including targets for per day drinking water supply.

As of February 2018, 74% of habitations are fully covered (receiving 55 litres per capita per day), and 22% of habitations are partially covered (receiving less than 55 litres per capita per day). The Ministry aims to cover 90% of rural households with a piped water supply and 80% of rural households with tap connections by 2022. In 2015, the Estimates Committee of Parliament observed that piped water supply was available to only 47% of rural habitations, out of which only 15% had household tap connections.

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Editor : Palak Agrawal
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