Centre released the second tranche of Rs 360.95 crores under the Jal Jeevan Mission to Uttarakhand on Tuesday in order to expedite the implementation of the mission in the state, informed the Ministry of Jal Shakti on Tuesday.
As per a statement issued by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, so far a total of Rs 721.90 crores has been released in the state in 2020-21. For the speedy implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission, a Central fund of Rs. 1,443.80 Crore has been allocated to Uttarakhand in 2021-22, which is four times the allocation made during 2020-21. Uttarakhand plans to become 'Har Ghar Jal' State by December 2022, said the ministry.
Expediting the process of approval of big multi-village drinking water supply schemes, in last two months, schemes worth Rs. 714 Crore for 58.5 thousand homes in 846 villages spread across 11 districts of Uttarakhand benefitting more than 3 lakh people have been approved by the State-level Scheme Sanctioning Committee (SLSSC). This will immensely reduce the drudgery faced by women and children who spent many hours every day fetching water from distant water sources.
According to the ministry, on August 15, 2019, at the time of the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, only 1.30 lakh (8.58 per cent) rural homes had a tap water supply.
However, in 28 months, despite Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown disruptions, the State has provided tap water connection to 6.22 lakh (41.02 per cent) households. Thus, as on date, out of 15.18 lakh rural households in the State, 7.53 lakh (49.60 per cent) are getting tap water supply in their homes. In 2021-22, the state plans to provide tap water connections to 2.64 lakh households. So far, every rural household in 2,438 villages and 620 blocks has been provided tap water supply.
Jal Jeevan Mission is implemented in a decentralized manner following the 'bottom-up' approach, wherein the local village community plays a key role starting from planning to implementation and from management to operation and maintenance. For this, the State undertakes community activities like engaging with the community and strengthening the Village Water and Sanitation Committee/ Pani Samiti. As of date, Uttarakhand has constituted Pani Samiti in 14,376 villages and Village Action Plans have been developed for 14,524 villages.
The programme encourages participation by women, as they are the primary water managers in any household. 171 Implementing Support Agencies (ISAs) have been engaged by the department to create awareness in public about the mission, sensitize the public about the importance of safe water, engage with the community and extend support to Panchayati Raj institutions for the implementation of the programme.
39,202 women have been trained in the State to conduct water quality testing using Field Test Kits (FTKs). 27 water quality testing laboratories in the State have been opened for the general public so that people can get their water samples tested whenever they so desire at a nominal cost, added the release.
To ensure safe tap water to children in schools, ashramshalas and anganwadi centres in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 100-days campaign, which was launched by Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on October 2, 2020. Tap water provided in learning centres is used by children and teachers for drinking, cooking mid-day meal, hand washing and in toilets. All schools and anganwadi centres in Uttarakhand have been provided tap water supply in their premises.
As per the release, at the start of the mission in 2019, out of a total of 19.20 Crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 Crore (17 per cent) had tap water supply. Despite challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, over 5.47 Crore (28.47 per cent) households have been provided with a tap water supply since the launch of the mission. Presently, 8.70 Crore (45.32 per cent) rural households receive potable water through taps.
Goa, Telangana, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry and Haryana have become 'Har Ghar Jal' State/ UT i.e.100 per cent rural households have tap water supply in their homes. At present, every household in 83 Districts and more than 1.29 lakh villages are receiving a tap water supply.