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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

73rd Independence Day: Govt to spend Rs 3.5 lakh crore to deliver piped water to every home, says PM Modi

The Jal Shakti or water resources ministry aims to provide piped drinking water to 19.5% of rural households during 2019-20 under the Jal Jeevan mission.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2019 09:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
PM Modi, addressing the nation on occasion of country’s 73rd year of Independence, said large parts of the country sill did not have access to water and this was “unfortunate”.
PM Modi, addressing the nation on occasion of country’s 73rd year of Independence, said large parts of the country sill did not have access to water and this was “unfortunate”. (ANI/ Twitter)
         

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his government was going to launch the Jal Jeevan Mission, a drinking water programme for which Rs 3.5 lakh crore would be spent over the next few years.

Addressing the nation on the occasion of country’s 73rd year of Independence, PM Modi said large parts of the country sill did not have access to water and this was “unfortunate”. He called for a grassroots-based people’s campaign to conserve water.

Follow Independence Day LIVE updates here.

“Today I announce, in the coming days we are going to start Jal Jeevan Mission with an allocation of Rs 3.5 lakh crore and both Centre and states are going to work together on this mission”, PM Modi said.

He also underlined that it couldn’t just be a government initiative. “The movement for water conservation has to be a grassroots people movement,” he said. HT had reported on August 3 that the government is ready with its blueprint and would be a focus area in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech.

The Budget 2019-20 presented in February had stated that a Jal Jeevan mission would be launched to provide piped drinking water to all rural households by 2024, allocating Rs 10,000 crore for the current financial year. PM Modi’s speech indicates that spending in the coming years would be substantially ramped up.

PM Modi had talked on the issue of water in his first “Mann Ki Baat” radio address after the NDA government returned to power with a massive majority in the national elections.

The Jal Shakti or water resources ministry aims to provide piped drinking water to 19.5% of rural households during 2019-20 under the Jal Jeevan mission.

Experts say the scheme will need a steep improvement in its performance to achieve the government’s goal of providing water to all rural households by 2024.

Piped drinking water to rural households is one of the critical components for achieving universal access to safe drinking water in a country where, in 2015, 163 million Indians lacked access to clean water, the highest for any country, according to the NGO WaterAid.

PM Modi has nudged citizens to be judicious with water use, as a dire scarcity takes hold in many states. Soon after coming to power, he wrote to panchayats, or village administrations, across the country, asking them to conserve water. The government has identified 1,592 blocks in 256 districts as seriously water-depleted.

First Published: Aug 15, 2019 09:33 IST

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