To ensure that every rural household in the country can have drinking water through piped connections by 2024, the Government of India in collaboration with states is implementing the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) – Har Ghar Jal from August 2019. Water is a State Subject Responsibility for planning, approving, implementing and operating and maintaining water supply schemes rests with the States.
At the time of the Jal Jeevan Mission announcement in August 2019, 3.23 million (17%) rural households were reported to have a water connection. So far, as reported by the States/UTs as of 03/09/2023, another 8.15 million rural households have been provided with water supply connections under the JJM in the last three and a half years. Thus, as on 03/09/2023, out of 19.42 million rural households in the country, more than 11.38 million (58%) households have piped water supply.
To rapidly achieve the goal of JJM across the country, a number of steps have been taken to enable States/UTs to ensure coverage within the mission period including joint discussion and finalization of Annual Action Plan (AAP) States/UTs, regular review of implementation, workshops/conferences/ webinars for capacity building and knowledge sharing, field visits by a multidisciplinary team to provide technical support, etc.
Detailed operational guidelines for JJM implementation; Margdarshika for Gram Panchayats & VWSC to provide safe drinking water in rural households and Guidelines for a special campaign to ensure piped water supply in anganwadi centres, ashramshals and schools were shared with States/UTs to facilitate planning and implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission.
Measures have also been taken for transparent online financial management through the Public Finance Management System (PFMS). Sufficient funds are also provided to the states to complete the works on time.
Covid-19 pandemic challenges
Lack of reliable sources of drinking water in water-scarce, drought and desert areas, presence of geogenic contaminants in groundwater, uneven geographical terrain, scattered rural habitations, etc. and delay in releasing adequate state share in some states, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic there are few challenges that states face in carrying out the mission.
Since water is a state subject, the power to plan, approve, implement and operate and maintain water supply systems is vested in the states. Grievances/complaints etc. are dealt with as such in the concerned State/UT. Accordingly, the complaints received are forwarded to the concerned State Government for necessary action. This information was given by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.
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