Jul 10: Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat discussed issues related to the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in Tripura with Chief Minister Shri Biplab Kumar Deb through video conferencing. This is one of the series of interactions of the central Minister with Chief Ministers of various States for expeditious implementation of the flagship programme. Government of India is implementing ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ in partnership with States to ensure every rural household in the country has Functional Household Tap Connection for potable water in adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis at affordable service delivery charges leading to improvement in their living standards. Government is making all efforts to provide tap connections in rural households on priority basis during prevailing CoVid-19 situation, so that rural people don’t have to go to public stand-posts for fetching water.
Tripura is planning 100% coverage by 2022-23, ahead of national goal by 2024. Out of 8 lakh rural households in Tripura, only 68,178 are provided with FHTCs. Out of the remaining 4.19 lakh households, Tripura plans to provide tap connections in 2.65 lakh households during 2020-21. Union Minister urged the CM to start the work of providing tap connections from existing water supply schemes in 1,178 villages in a ‘campaign mode’, so that about 7 lakh households can get tap water connections. The CM assured that all households of the State will be provided with tap connections by 2023, so that poor and marginalized people get tap connections in household premises.
In 2020-21, ₹ 156.61 Crore has been allocated and including State share and with the unspent balance lying with the State, there is assured availability of ₹ 383.45 Crore for implementation of JJM in Tripura. State is eligible for additional allocation based on physical and financial performance. Since Tripura has been allocated ₹ 191 Crores under 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs and 50% of it is to be used for water supply and sanitation, Union minister requested the CM to plan for utilizing this fund for rural water supply, grey-water management and most importantly for ensuring long-term operation and maintenance of water supply schemes.
Union Minister requested the CM for constitution of village water & sanitation committee/ Paani Samitis as a sub-committee of Gram Panchayat with minimum 50% of women members that will be responsible for planning, designing, implementing and operating & maintaining of in-village water supply infrastructure. It was also highlighted that every village has to prepare Village Action Plan (VAP) which essentially will comprise of development/ augmentation of drinking water sources, water supply component, grey-water management and operation and maintenance component. The CM was urged to give undivided focus to the mission and IEC campaign along with community mobilization needs to be taken up to make Jal Jeevan Mission, a people’s movement.
It was stressed that all the drinking water sources need to be tested once for chemical parameters and twice for bacteriological contamination (pre and post monsoon) every year. The State was further asked to ensure training of at least five persons, preferably women, in every village for surveillance of water quality through field test kits (FTKs).
During the CoVid-19 pandemic situation, efforts of the Government to provide household tap connections in rural areas will definitely improve the ease of living especially the women and girls by reducing their drudgery and making them lead a dignified life.