THE CONTEXT: Puducherry has become ‘Har Ghar Jal’ UT by ensuring that every rural home in the Union Territory gets a household tap connection. With this, the UT becomes the fourth State/UT after Goa, Telangana and Andaman & Nicobar Islands to provide assured tap water supply to every rural home under Union Government’s flagship programme, Jal JeevanMission.
- Despite challenges faced due to CoVid-19 pandemic, Jal Jeevan Mission is being implemented in partnership with States/ UTs to provide safe tap water in adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis to every rural home by 2024.
- Pondicherry’s achievement is another timely indicator of JJM’s success as people living in rural areas can practice regular hand washing at home and maintain physical distancing by avoiding crowds at public stand posts.
- Though the achievement got delayed due to Assembly elections, but the efforts of the UT Administration is praiseworthy.
- Further, the State of Punjab and the UTs of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu have also crossed the milestone of covering 75% of rural homes with assured tap water supply. 26.31 lakh households (76%) of Punjab out of 34.73 lakh have tap water supply and the State of Punjab plans for 100% coverage of all rural households by 2022.
JAL JEEVAN MISSION
- JJM is a flagship programme of the, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India which aims to provide tap water connection to every rural household of the country by 2024.
- Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
- Under Jal Jeevan Mission, in 2021-22, in addition to Rs 50,011 Crore budgetary allocation for JJM, there is also Rs 26,940 Crore assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied-grant to RLB/ PRIs for water & sanitation, matching State share and externally aided as well as State funded 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 in rural areas will boost the rural economy
SIGNIFICANCE OF JAL JEEVAN MISSION
- Although Water Supply is a state subject, the Centre is spearheading this mission by providing funds, technical inputs and other assistance to states in the spirit of partnership. Thus, JJM is an example of Cooperative Federalism.
- PRIs are the sheet anchor for JJM implementation. This can improve local governance capacity with respect to project management, asset creation and other developmental aspects in rural area
- JJM envisages a Jan Andolan wherein active people participation is envisaged along the entire life cycle of project. This can build feeling of ownership among local community and thus enhances the accountability of the local bodies to people
- JJM adopts convergence approach to development as it has pooled in funds from multiple sources like Budgetary support, FFC grants, Other Ministry Funds, MGNREGA funds, state’s allocation etc.
- The creation of water infrastructure in rural area not only address drinking water problem but also improves life chances of women and children
- The rural employment will get a boost as work will be provided under the mission to rural people.
- JJM is also an illustration of “Participatory Rural Water Management” where the local community itself manage the water supply infra while charging a user fee for water use.