AIR Spotlight - Under Jal Jeevan Mission nine crore rural households reached water from tap

AIR Spotlight is an insightful program featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panellists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in IAS exam preparation. In this article, Under Jal Jeevan Mission nine crore rural households reached water from tap

Participants – 

  • Bharat Lal,Founding Mission Director,Jal Jeevan Mission
  • Kamal Kumar Prajapati, AIR Correspondent

Context: The Jal Jeevan Mission has achieved a milestone of providing tap water to nine crore rural homes in the country.

About Jal Jeevan Mission:-

  • Jal Jeevan Mission is a central government initiative under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • It aims to ensure access to piped water for every household in India.
  • The mission’s goal is to provide to all households in rural India safe and adequate water through individual household tap connections by 2024.

Know more about Jal Jeevan Mission

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Achievements of  Jal Jeevan Mission: 

  • Jal Jeevan Mission has provided tap water supply to more than 5.79 crore rural households, in a short span of two and half years.
  • Every rural household has tap water supply in Goa, Haryana, Telangana, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Daman and  Diu.
  • Many more States like Punjab with 99 percent coverage of  tap water supply, Himachal Pradesh with 92.4 percent, Gujarat with 92 percent  and Bihar with 90 percent  are on the verge of becoming Har Ghar Jal in 2022.
  • The Center has allocated  3.60 lakh Crore rupees to  provide tap water supply to every rural household by 2024.  
  • 60 thousand crore has been allocated to Har Ghar Jal in Union Budget 2022-23.

Socio-economic impact of  Jal Jeevan Mission: 

  • The Jal Jeevan Mission is ‘no one is left out’, thus ensuring every household irrespective of its socio-economic status, gets tap water supply. 
  • It strives for the freedom of mothers and sisters from centuries old drudgery of fetching water for the household, and improving their health, education and socio- economic condition. 
  • The assured funding for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26 will accelerate economic activities and boost the rural economy, as well as creating employment opportunities in villages.
  • The mission ensures the health and well-being of children by providing clean tap water in schools and anganwadi centers.
  • The  anganwadi centers across the country have been provided with potable tap water supply for drinking and cooking mid-day meals, handwashing and use in toilets.

Significant Aspects of Jal Jeevan Mission

  • ‘Bottom up’ approach: Jal Jeevan Mission uses a ‘bottom up’ approach where community plays a vital role from planning to implementation, management, operation and maintenance. 
  • Pani Samiti: Village Water and Sanitation Committee (VWSC) or Pani Samiti are being constituted and strengthened; Village Action Plans are developed through community engagement; Implementation Support Agencies (ISAs) are engaged to support village communities in programme implementation and create awareness among people.
  • Prioritized tap water supply: Under the Jal Jeevan Mission, quality-affected villages, Aspirational districts, SC/ST majority villages, water-scarce areas and Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) villages are prioritized for providing tap water supply.
  • Community water purification plants: Community water purification plants have been installed as an interim measure, to provide safe water @ of 8-10 lpcd to every household.
  • Focus on Capacity building: To build the capacity of the community to efficiently manage the water utility, Jal Jeevan Mission is conducting capacity building programmes with the help of Implementation Support Agencies (ISAs), 104 Key Resource Centers (KRCs), and sector partners working in the area of water across the country.
  • Water quality monitoring and surveillance: Water quality monitoring and surveillance activities are given top priority under the Jal Jeevan Mission. Five women in each village are being trained to test water samples of any kind of contamination by using Field test Kits (FTKs), which are being procured and handed over to Panchayats.
  • Use of Technology: Jal Jeevan Mission leverages the use of technology to ensure transparency, accountability, proper utilization of funds and service delivery. Every water supply asset created under Jal Jeevan Mission is geo-tagged.
  • Hydro-geo morphological (HGM) maps: HGM maps are used in planning a single village scheme to identify drinking water sources and construct aquifer recharge structures. 
  • Linking of tap connections with Aadhar: Household tap connections provided by JJM are linked with the Aadhar number of the head of the household and more importantly all financial transactions are undertaken through the Public Finance Management System (PFMS).
Points to Remember
  • Water supply is a State subject. 
  • The 73 Amendment to the Constitution of India placed the subject of drinking water in the Eleventh Schedule and assigned its management to Gram Panchayats. 
Challenges of  Jal Jeevan Mission: 

  • The biggest challenge of water supply systems in villages is to ensure its proper management and regular operation and maintenance.
  • The presence of contaminants in groundwater is one of the major challenges to achieving the targets of the Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • The challenge for the Mission is to provide safe water supply round-the-year to densely populated habitations that are routinely exposed to the seasonal hazard of floods.
  • Other challenges include lack of in-village infrastructure, depleting groundwater resources, lack of assured water sources, climate change leading to scanty rainfall, lack of capacity of local communities and poor operation and maintenance. 

Conclusion:

Assured availability of drinking water in the household premises will not only improve the health and socio economic condition of rural population, it will also bring down the drudgery of rural women and girls. The National Jal Jeevan Mission is working on these ideas for assured service delivery to village communities. This will help in realizing vision of JJM i.e. developing ‘water enlightened villages’, i.e. ‘Jal Prabudh Gaon’ so that paucity of water does not become a limiting factor in socio-economic development and our quest for high economic growth.

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