June 27: Ministry of Jal Shakti has been working with the States in preparing a roadmap to implement Union Government’s flagship programme Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), which aims to provide 55 litres of potable water per person per day to every rural household of the country by 2024. JJM aims to improve the lives of rural people especially women and girls by reducing their drudgery.
To take the programme further, Rajasthan presented the Annual Action Plan on Jal Jeevan Mission. Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has earlier written to the Chief Minister of Rajasthan expressing his concerns over the slow progress of Jal Jeevan Mission in the State. Out of 1.1 Crore rural households in the State, 12.36 Lakh households have already been provided with tap connections (FHTCs). In 2019-20, only 1.02 Lakh tap connections were provided. In 2020-21, the State is planning to enable 20.69 Lakh households with tap water connections.
Central Govt has approved fund of ₹2,522.03 Crore for implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in Rajasthan in 2020-21, which is a considerable increase from ₹ 1,051 Crore in 2019-20. With an opening balance of ₹ 605.87 Crore under JJM and ₹ 389.2 Crore under NWQSM component available for quality-affected areas with the State, and along with this year’s Central allocation and State’s matching share, a total of ₹ 7,059.85 Crore will be available for implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in Rajasthan. State has been asked for speedy implementation of the programme in terms of physical outputs, i.e. no of tap connections provided and commensurate financial progress, so that the State can avail additional funds based on the performance.
Rajasthan plans to provide potable water to 57.77 Lakh population of the State residing in 5,864 villages affected by Fluoride, salinity, Nitrate and Iron. State has planned to provide potable water in all 3,700 Fluoride affected habitations by December, 2020. More emphasis is also given on universal coverage of water scarce areas, aspirational districts, SC/ ST dominated villages and villages under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).
As JJM is a decentralized, demand-driven, community-managed programme, the local village community/ Gram Panchayats or user groups are to play key role in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of water supply systems in villages to ensure long-term sustainability. It is also planned to undertake IEC campaign along with community mobilization in all villages to make JJM truly a people’s movement. Women self-help groups and voluntary organisations are to be engaged to mobilize the rural community for creation of in-village water supply infrastructure as well as for their operation and maintenance.
50% of the 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs is to be spent on water and sanitation. Rajasthan would receive ₹ 3,862 Crore as FC Grants in 2020-21. There is a need for convergence planning to be done by the State under various programmes like MGNREGS, SBM (G), 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs, District Mineral Development Fund, CAMPA, CSR Fund, Local Area Development Fund, etc. at village level. The State is to facilitate preparation of Village Action Plan (VAP) of every village by dovetailing all such resources for carrying out water conservation activities leading to strengthening of water sources and ensuring drinking water security.
For water quality surveillance activities, Public Health Engineering Departments in State has to engage with the local community. For this, the entire chain of activity from timely procurement of kits, supply of kits to the community, identification of at least five women in every village and training women for FTK use is being decentralized, so that water supplied in villages could be tested locally. The idea is to have a reliable and trustworthy arrangement of potable supply.
To achieve the objectives of the Mission to provide tap connection to each rural household in every habitation/ village on long-term basis, skilled manpower like masonry, plumbing, fitting, electricity, etc., is needed for creation of water supply schemes and their operation & maintenance. The goal is to create a pool of skilled human resources in rural areas to make villages self-reliant for regular upkeep and maintenance of water supply systems.
In the prevailing CoVid-19 pandemic situation, State has been requested to start works related to water supply and water conservation immediately in villages so as to provide employment to the local community and also to ensure potable water in the households of rural people, and boost the rural economy.
Finally, it was stressed that State should ensure faster implementation of the JJM programme to realize the objectives of the Mission that every rural household gets potable water in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis.