₹2.87L-cr Jal Jeevan Mission aims to take tap water to 28.6m homes
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced a new drinking water mission called the Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) to provide tap water connections to 28.6 million urban households. The programme will be implemented over five years with an outlay of ₹287,000 crore.
“The Jal Jeevan Mission (urban) will be launched. It aims at universal water supply in all 4,378 urban local bodies with 2.86 crore [28.6 million] household tap connections, as well as liquid waste management in 500 AMRUT cities. It will be implemented over 5 years, with an outlay of ₹2,87,000 crore,” Sitharaman said in her budget speech.
Launched in 2019, Jal Jeevan Mission’s rural version aims to provide every rural household with a tap water connection by 2024. Nearly 30 million tap water connections have been provided under this so far.
The budget allocated the drinking water and sanitation department under Jal Shakti ₹60,030 crore while ₹9,022.57 crore has been earmarked for the department of water resources, the river development and ganga rejuvenation.
Finance minister Sitharaman had allocated ₹50,000 crore for the Jal Jeevan Mission in 2021-22.
The department of water resources has seen a hike of over three times in its allocation. In 2019-20, it was allocated ₹18,264.26 crore, which came down to ₹17,023.50 in 2020-21.
Over 120 million households lack access to clean water near their homes, the highest in the world, according to UN-Water.
Contaminated water causes diseases such as diarrhoea, the third leading cause of childhood mortality in India, according to researchers Subitha Lakshminarayanan and Ramakrishnan Jayalakshmy of Puduchery’s Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research and Indira Gandhi Medical College.
Although an urban version of the Jal Jeevan mission was much needed, the rural version has to still cover a lot of ground. India has 189 million rural households, according to the official data.