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‘Har Ghar Nal Se Jal’: Only 3 crore rural households had piped water in 72 years, 4 crore rural water connections given in the last 1 and half years

The aim of the Jal Jeevan Mission is to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections to all rural households in India by 2024

PM Narendra Modi’s ambitious scheme of providing piped water to every household in the country has started with a massive success, as it has exceeded its target so far since its launch in 2019. The flagship ‘Har Ghar Nal Se Jal’ has provided tapped water to approximately 4 crore rural households, which is almost 20% more than the target.

The initiative since the launch in 2019 has provided over 4.03 rural households with tap water connections, which is more than the number of rural households with water connections at that time. 100% rural households of Goa, Telangana and Andaman & Nicobar Islands now have tap water connections with states like Puducherry, Haryana and Gujarat inching close to the cent per cent mark, according to the Jal Sakti ministry.

Historically, access to clean and safe piped water has been very poor in India. Out of 19.19 crore rural households in India, only 16.87% of households had tap water connections till August 15, 2019, since the time of independence. This means, at the start of the scheme, only around 3.2 crore rural households had water connections, and that number has more than doubled after the launch of the scheme.

Concerned about the lack of safe drinking water for the rural households, Narendra Modi had launched the time-bound initiative- the Jal Jeevan Mission on August 15, 2019. The aim of the initiative is to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections to all rural households in India by 2024. The initiative also touches upon other sustainable measures for water conservation, recharge and reuse through greywater management and rainwater harvesting.

The Jal Jeevan Mission is simultaneously focusing on providing potable drinking water to public institutions such as government schools, Anganwadi centres, health and wellness centres. 

The mission in spite of achieving a remarkable feat is still short of target in several states, including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Assam etc, which have been the worst-performing states in providing access to potable drinking water to rural households.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his political rallies in West Bengal expressed his displeasure over TMC depriving the state of the Centre’s piped water scheme. The state currently has covered just about 9% of rural households with tap water connections. 

Narendra Modi while addressing a rally in West Bengal made a stunning revelation. He informed, “Around 3.6 crore rural households have been brought under the water supply project. But in Bengal, only 9 lakh households have received direct drinking water supply in their homes. The central government had sanctioned Rs 1,700 crore for the project but, unfortunately, only Rs 690 crore have been duly used and rest is drained out.”

In another rally at Purulia, the Prime Minister claimed that the proposed Purulia Piped Water Supply Project — funded by JICA — has been going on for nearly eight years and is still “far from completion”.

In a press note released by the office of Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of Jal Shakti, informed that despite the CoVid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns, the speedy implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission provided 3.16 Crore rural households with tap water connection. Making a crucial strategic shift, the mission will now focus on providing an assured supply of potable water to every home rather than mere infrastructure creation.

Jal Jeevan Mission is working in partnership with the States with an aim to provide potable water in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis. Extensive planning exercise was undertaken by the States/ UTs following ‘bottom-up approach’. Accordingly, they have firmed up the Action Plan to provide tap water connection to every rural household. While implementing, States are giving priority to water quality-affected areas, village in drought prone and desert areas, Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe majority villages, aspirational districts and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna villages.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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