New Delhi, April 08, 2021.
As the Jal Jeevan Mission – Har Ghar Jal announced on 15th August, 2019, to provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural home by 2024, enters its third year of implementationwith a Central grant of Rs.50,011 Crore in 2021-22, the National Jal Jeevan Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti is set to roll out the annual planning exercise with States/ UTs from 9th April, 2021. This month-long exercise, daily taking up two States/ UTs, is done by a committee chaired by Secretary, DDWS and with members from different Central Ministries/ Departments and NITI Aayog to do a rigorous scrutiny of the proposed Annual Action Plan (AAP) prepared byStates/ UTs before finalizing the same. Thereafter, funds are released throughout the year and regular field visits, review meetings are held to ensure implementation of these Annual Action Plans to achieve the goal of Jal Jeevan Mission.
As the financial year 2021-22 begins, the rigorous joint review exercise to finalize the Annual Action Plans (AAPs) is all set to begin from 9th April. This year is a very critical year for JJM, which requires intensive planning based on rigorous data analysis, capacity of States/ UTs to execute the work based on last two year’s progress, their preparedness, etc. While implementing, States/ UTs are to give priority to water quality-affected areas, villages in drought prone and desert areas, Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe majority villages, 60 JE-AES affected and 117 Aspirational districts and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana villages to provide all households with tap water connection in a time-bound manner.
In addition to 50,000 Crore budgetary allocation for JJM, there is also Rs. 26,940 Crore assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied-grants to RLB/ PRIs for water & sanitation, matching State share and externally aided projects. Thus, in 2021-22, more than Rs. 1 lakh Crore is planned to be invested in the country on ensuring tap water supply to rural homes. This kind of investment is likely to continue over three years to achieve Har Ghar Jal.
The State Action Plan is prepared by States/ UTs with an objective to provide 100% households with tap water connections and achieve overall drinking water security. This is the master plan with detailed information on number of schemes to be retrofitted/ new schemes to achieve saturationalongwith timelines to initiate and complete& commission the schemes on ground. It will also identify sources of convergence, invest in sensor-based IoT technology for real-time monitoring and measurement of water supply, firm up State O&M policy, intensify IEC/ BCC, Water Quality Monitoring &Surveillance activities, etc.
The AAP (2021–22)will furtheremphasize on support activities like empowering Village Water & Sanitation Committees (VWSCs)/ Pani Samitis, preparation and approval of Village Action Plans (VAPs) which will have the components of drinking water source strengthening/ augmentation, water supply infrastructure, grey water treatment & reuse, and operation & maintenance of in-village water supply systems. The States/ UTs are also to plan for intense training and skilling programmes, especially 5 persons in every village on water quality surveillance and local community members as masons, plumbers, electricians, motor mechanics, fitter, pump operators, etc.
The special campaign to provide tap water connections in schools, anganwadi centres (AWCs) and Ashramshalas under the Jal Jeevan Mission has received a very good response from the States & UTs with several States reporting 100% saturation in all schools and AWCs. All the remaining States/ UTs have to complete provision of PWS for drinking, cooking mid-day meals, handwashing and use in toilets. In these institutions, rainwater harvesting and grey water reuse is promoted in a big way so that our future generations inculcate the spirit of holistic management of water for water security and improved hygiene and sanitation in villages.