The State-level Standing Committee, during a meeting on November 26, gave approval to drinking water supply schemes worth Rs 225.24 crore for Uttarakhand. The schemes will provide tap water connections in 293 villages spread over seven districts of the state. Of the 12 water supply schemes sanctioned, 11 are multi village and one is a single village scheme. It will provide tap water connection to over 19,000 rural households.
As of November 27, out of 15.18 lakh rural households in Uttarakhand, 7.41 lakh or 48.79 per cent are getting tap water supply in their homes. In 2021-22, the state plans to provide tap water connections to 2.64 lakh households.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), there is a provision for the constitution of a State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee (SLSSC) for consideration and approval of schemes to be taken up for making provision of tap water supply to rural households. The SLSSC acts as a State-level Committee to consider water supply schemes or projects and a nominee of the National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM), Government of India is a member of the committee.
In an effort to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ensuring clean tap water in every household and freeing women and girls from the drudgery of fetching water from a distance, under the JJM, Rs 360.95 crore grant–in–aid to Uttarakhand has been released during 2021-22. In 2019-20, Central Government had allocated Rs 170.53 crore for the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission. This year, Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat allocated Rs 1,443.80 Crore which is a four-fold increase from last year. The Minister, while approving the four-fold increase assured full assistance to the state for making provision of tap water supply in every rural home by December 2022.
On August 15, 2019, at the time of the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, only 1.30 lakh (8.58 per cent) households had a drinking water supply through taps. In 27 months, despite disruptions faced during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, the State has provided tap water connection to 6.11 lakh (40.21 per cent) households.
To accelerate the pace of JJM implementation, National Jal Jeevan Mission has urged the State to take necessary measures to provide tap water supply to 2.64 lakh rural households in the state this year. With this year’s Central allocation of Rs. 1,443.80 crore and with an opening balance of Rs 111.22 crore available with the state government, the state’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 in Uttarakhand is Rs 1,733 crore. Thus, the Government of India is ensuring that there is no paucity of funds for the implementation of this transformational mission in the state of Uttarakhand.
Further, Rs 256 crore has been allocated to Uttarakhand as the 15th Finance Commission tied grant for water and sanitation to Rural Local Bodies/ PRIs in 2021-22. There is assured funding of Rs 1,344 crore tied grant for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26. This huge investment in rural areas of Uttarakhand will accelerate economic activities and also boost the rural economy. It will create income-generating opportunities in villages.
The NJJM team emphasised the need for effective community contribution and including the provision of greywater management through convergence in the water supply schemes as it’s a very important component of the Jal Jeevan Mission.
Water quality monitoring and surveillance activities are given top priority by imparting training to five women in each village, for regular and independent testing of drinking water sources and delivery points using Field Test Kits (FTKs). So far, more than 38 thousand women have been trained to use FTKs. Water testing laboratories in the State are upgraded and open for the general public so that people can test their water samples at a nominal rate.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission, water quality-affected habitations, Aspirational & JE/ AES affected districts, SC/ ST majority villages, SAGY villages in the State are given priority. 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.
At the start of the mission in 2019, out of a total of 19.20 Crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 Crore (17 per cent) had a tap water supply. During the last 27 months, despite Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission has been implemented with speed and today, 5.32 Crore rural households have been provided with tap water connections. Presently, 8.56 Crore (44.52 per cent) rural households across the country have a tap water supply. The states of Goa, Telangana, Haryana and UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Puducherry, D&NH and D&D have ensured 100 per cent household tap connection in rural areas. At present, every household in 83 districts and more than 1.24 lakh villages are receiving tap water supply.
(With inputs from PIB)