Gujarat plans to provide 1 million rural households with tap water connections in the current financial year, under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). The marquee scheme aims to ensure assured tap water supply or ‘Har Ghar Jal’ to all rural households by 2024. Four crore households have been provided with tap water connections since the scheme was announced on 15 August 2019.
“In order to achieve the goal of “Har Ghar Jal" i.e. providing every household with assured tap water supply on regular and long-term basis, the National Jal Jeevan Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India has allocated Rs. 3,410.61 Crore grant to the state of Gujarat under the Jal Jeevan Mission for the year 2021-22, out of which the first tranche of Rs. 852.65 Crores has been released," Jal Shakti ministry said in a statement on Monday.
This comes in the backdrop of India’s 38% rural population been covered under the JJM scheme, with 21.4% rural households provided tap water connection since the scheme’s launch in 2019. Several states including Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Haryana, Odisha, Sikkim and Tripura have presented their commitment to provide tap water connections to all rural households before 2024.
“In Gujarat, during 2020-21, 10.94 Lakh rural households have been provided tap water connections and in 2021-22 also, the state plans to provide more than 10 lakh households with tap water connections. Gujarat has 92.92 Lakh rural households, out of which now 77.21 Lakh (83%) households are having piped water supply," the statement added.
An investment of around Rs1 trillion is to be made this year for drinking water supply in rural areas. In July 2019, the government had formed a new ministry, Jal Shakti, to address all water issues in the country. The Jal Shakti ministry was formed by integrating it with other existing ministries, such as water resources and the ministry of drinking water and sanitation.
“In Gujarat, out of about 18 thousand villages, in more than 6,700 village, tap water supply to every household has been ensured. In 2020-21, about 5,900 villages were made ‘Har Ghar Jal’ by providing each and every home a functional tap water connection. In 5 districts of the State, every rural household is having tap water supply," the statement said.
With the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic spread across India, the National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) has also issued an advisory to states and union territories for monitoring and surveillance of water quality to ensure potable drinking water.