‘5 states, UTs to get tap water by 2022, ahead of deadline’
The Union government has decided to fully implement its programme of providing tap water to every household in five northern states and union territories by end of the current financial year, instead of the earlier deadline of 2024 and has allocated of ₹8216.25 crore for 2021-22, according to an official statement.
These states and federally-administered territories estimated to have complete coverage under the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission by end of FY22 are Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The amount allocated for quickening the project in these five states is four times the allocation in the previous year. When completed, an estimated 50 million people will have access to a functional tap water connection in these five states.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Jal Jeevan programme on Independence Day, 2019. In this period, Goa, Telangana, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Puducherry have fully implemented the scheme. In all, households in 62 districts, 746 blocks and 91000 villages now have a functional tap water connection.
India has 190 million rural households, according to Census 2011.
At the start of the mission, slightly more than 30 million households had piped drinking water. Since the mission’s launch in August 2019, nearly 40 million new households have been added
In Haryana, 91.32% rural homes now have tap water supply in 5,150 villages spread across eight districts. In Punjab, 77% rural households have access to tap water supply under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
Lack of clean drinking water is a leading cause of child morbidity and estimated to cost 2% of potential gross domestic product (GDP), according to World Bank estimates.
Many Indian regions are severely water-stressed, according to the state-run think-tank Niti Aayog’s Composite Water Management Index 2019.
Nearly 820 million people in 12 major river basins of the country face “high to extreme” water stress. This has prompted the Centre to ramp up targets under the Mission, covering the entering country by 2024.
“What is equally important is whether enough thought is going into making these facilities sustainable on a long-term basis,” said Anand Goswami, who formerly taught at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.