The Government of Uttar Pradesh presented the Jal Jeevan Mission Annual Action Plan (AAP) with details of the saturation plan for fiscal 2021-22. The plan was reviewed and approved through a video conference by a national committee chaired by the Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation and members from other ministries/ departments and NITI Aayog.
Following this, funds are released throughout the year on the basis of physical progress and expenditure incurred while the implementation of the project works. A detailed planning exercise was done to aid the efforts of the state governments in achieving ‘Har Ghar Jal’ target in a time-bound manner.
The Annual Action Plan emphasizes various components of Jal Jeevan Mission, including drinking water source strengthening/ augmentation, water supply works to provide household tap connections, greywater treatment and reuse, operation and maintenance, various support activities including IEC plan, training and capacity building of stakeholders, community mobilisation, water quality surveillance and monitoring, strengthening of water quality testing laboratories and its NABL accreditation/ recognition, etc.
As of yet, 31.67 lakh rural households of the total 2.63 crore rural households have been provided tap water connections. In the previous year, as many as 19.15 lakh tap connections were provided in UP. The UP government plans to provide 59 lakh tap water connections in 2021-22, 85.40 lakh connections in 2022-23 and 90.01 lakh connections in 2023-24.
However, while the review, the national committee suggested that Uttar Pradesh may plan to provide 78 lakh tap water connections in 2021-22 itself and the state government nodded to the committee’s suggestion. In the current fiscal, the UP government looks forward to making five districts ‘Har Ghar Jal’ and has planned to commence the work in 60,000 villages by the end of 2021.
So far, about 3,500 villages in the state have been declared ‘Har Ghar Jal’, which means each household in these villages is getting assured tap water supply in their homes. The state government is planning for the saturation of another 10,000 villages by September 2021.
The committee urged the UP government to focus on coverage of priority areas, including water quality-affected habitations, drought-prone areas, eight Aspirational and 20 JE/ AES affected districts, Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes majority areas, Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, etc.
Also, the efforts made by UP in providing piped water supply in 1.02 lakh schools, 1.04 lakh Anganwadi centres, and all the ashramshalas (tribal residential schools) were lauded by the national committee. Further, the government was asked to ensure safe drinking water for children in all remaining schools and Anganwadi centres as soon as possible. Also, in order to increase community ownership and participation, the UP government has been asked to focus on a robust IEC and behavioural change campaign.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission, the community is being encouraged to carry out surveillance of water sources and delivery points from time to time to ascertain the quality of water supplied. PHE Department is training and facilitating the village communities to undertake regular water quality testing in their villages. For this, timely procurement and supply of Field Test Kits (FTKs) to the Panchayats, identification of at least five women in every village for community engagement, training them on using FTKs and reporting the test result findings are given priority.
For Uttar Pradesh, with the Central allocation of Rs 10,870 crore in 2021-22 and opening balance of Rs 466 crore available with the State Government, State’s matching share of 2021-22 and shortfall of Rs 1,263 crore in 2019-20 & 2020-21; the total assured fund available for the implementation of JJM in the State is about Rs 23,937 crore. Also, as per the 15th Finance Commission tied grant for water and sanitation, a sum of Rs 4,324 crore has been allocated to UP. This grant will be utilized on activities like drinking water source strengthening, greywater management, and more.
(With inputs from PIB)