India reaches piped water to 35 million village homes
WATER & WASTE

India reaches piped water to 35 million village homes

In less than two years after it was announced, the Central Government’s Jal Jeevan Mission programme has reached drinking water to 35.3 million rural households across the country.

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India has achieved the milestone of reaching piped water to 35.3 million rural households under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) programme, a release from the Central Government’s Ministry of Jal Shakti has said. Out of this, 5 million connections were provided after January 1 alone.

Further, every family living in 52 districts and 77 thousand villages in the country is getting assured tap water supply in their homes. Now 67.6

In less than two years after it was announced, the Central Government’s Jal Jeevan Mission programme has reached drinking water to 35.3 million rural households across the country. _________India has achieved the milestone of reaching piped water to 35.3 million rural households under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) programme, a release from the Central Government’s Ministry of Jal Shakti has said. Out of this, 5 million connections were provided after January 1 alone. Further, every family living in 52 districts and 77 thousand villages in the country is getting assured tap water supply in their homes. Now 67.6 million or 35.24 per cent, i.e., more than one-third of rural households are getting potable water through taps. Goa became the first state in the country to provide 100 per cent tap water connection, in October 2020, followed by Telangana, in January this year. “PM @narendramodi 's ambitious #JalJeevanMission has provided 3.5 crore (35 million) rural households with tap water connections, 50 lakh (5 million) connections made this year. The initiative has already covered over 35% of rural India, providing 6.76 crore (67.6 million) households with potable water connections,” the Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat wrote on the microblogging site Twitter on January 17. The JJM programme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2019, to provide tap water connection to every rural household by 2024. At that time, out of 189.3 million rural households, only 32.3 million or 17 per cent had tap water connections. JJM operates in partnership with the states to provide potable water in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis. The programme is being run following the ‘bottom- up approach’, with the action plan to provide tap water connection to every rural household being firmed up accordingly. During the implementation, states have accorded priority to water quality-affected areas, villages in drought-prone and desert areas, the marginalised sections, aspirational districts and villages covered under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna. Temporary Setback Due to Pandemic With all developmental and construction getting affected during the lockdown owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the programme’s rollout also suffered a temporary setback. With hand hygiene becoming the most important tool for the safety of individuals to fight the pandemic, states and union territories resumed the building of water supply infrastructure after implementing social distancing protocols. Besides, work also helped provide employment as masons, plumbers, fitters and pump operators to migrants returning home from big cities during the period of lockdown. Potable water supply to water quality-affected clusters is a top priority under JJM. Efforts are made to ensure safe drinking water to all quality-affected villages, especially those where the water supply has high levels of arsenic and fluoride. Adequate care is taken to ensure the potability of drinking water to reduce water-borne diseases and improve the health of people. Meanwhile, states and union territories have not only overhauled their water quality testing laboratories but also opened them to the public to enable them to get their water samples tested at a nominal cost. Encouraged by the response to the JJM programme in rural areas, the Central Government will be extending it to urban clusters in 2021-22 financial year. In her Budget speech Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman told Parliament, “The Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) will be launched. It aims at a universal water supply in all 4,378 urban local bodies with 28.6 million household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) cities. It will be implemented over five years, with an outlay of Rs 2.87 trillion.” Hailing the decision, Country President, Grundfos India, George Rajkumar, said, “We hope that this allocation will encourage public and private players to develop innovative solutions for JJM and provide an opportunity to contribute to resolving water issues in the country through advanced water technologies.” - MANISH PANT

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