Today 60% of rural households have access to clean drinking water through taps. More than 1.55 lakh villages, (25% of total number of villages), in India have so far reported ‘Har Ghar Jal’, i.e., every household in these villages has access to clean drinking water through taps at their household premises. In the current year from January to March 2023, one tap connection has been provided every second under Jal Jeevan Mission. This is a remarkable feat, wherein during the first three months of 2023, 86,894 new tap water connections have been provided every day, on an average.
Jal Jeevan Mission was announced by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 15th August, 2019 with the aim to provide all rural households with adequate quantity (55 lpcd) water of prescribed quality in adequate pressure, on regular and long-term basis. The overall financial commitment for Jal Jeevan Mission is INR 3600 billion (US $ 43.80 billion) which makes it one of the largest welfare programmes in the world. At the time of the launch of the Mission in August 2019, out of 19.43 Crore rural households, only 3.23 Crore (16.65%) had access to tap water. Despite several disruptions in recent years due to the Pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict etc., States/ UTs have made persistent efforts to implement the Jal Jeevan Mission. The country crossed another milestone in the journey towards ‘Har Ghar Jal’ on 4th April 2023, with over 11.66 Crore (60%) rural households provided with tap water supply in their homes. 5 states of Gujarat, Telangana, Goa, Haryana, and Punjab and 3 Union Territories of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Daman Diu & Dadra Nagar Haveli and Puducherry have reported 100% coverage. The country is steadily progressing towards covering all the rural households will have safe drinking water through taps.
Jal Jeevan Mission is not merely an infrastructure development programme. The focus in the Mission is on service delivery in terms of sufficiency, safety, and regularity of water supply. The speed and scale of implementation of JJM has been unprecedented. In just about 3 years, more than 8.42 crore rural households with more than 40 crore people (@4.95 persons per rural household, source IMIS) have been benefitted under the programme. This is more than the population of USA (33.1 crore), almost twice the population of Brazil (21 crore) and Nigeria (20 crore), and more than thrice the population of Mexico (12.8 crore) & Japan (12.6 crore).
With focus on health and well-being of children, special efforts have been made to provide tap water connection in all rural schools, anganwadi centres and ashramshalas (tribal residential schools) for drinking, cooking mid-day meal, hand washing and use in toilets. As on date, tap water supply has been provided in 9.03 lakh (88.26%) schools and 9.36 lakh (83.71%) anganwadi centres.
“Supply of safe water” has been one of the key considerations under the JJM. At the time of launch of JJM, there were 14,020 Arsenic and 7,996 Fluoride affected reported habitations in the country. In a short span of 3 years, since the launch of JJM, with concerted efforts of states/UTs, the number of such habitations has reduced to 612 and 431 respectively. Even in these habitations, safe water is now available for drinking and cooking, to all the people. In effect, all 1.79 crore people livening in Arsenic or Fluoride affected habitations, are now getting safe water for drinking and cooking purposes.
2,078 water testing labs have been developed out of which 1,122 are NABL accredited. To create awareness about water quality, more than 21 lakh women have been trained in rural areas for testing water samples using Field Test Kits (FTKs). In 2022-23 alone, 1.03 crore water samples have been tested through the FTKs and 61 lakh water samples have been tested through laboratories. A special ‘Swachh Jal se Suraksha’ campaign was launched by the Mission and water quality testing have been reported in 5.33 lakh villages for chemical and in 4.28 lakh villages for biological contamination (post monsoon) during the year 2022-23.
The strength of government’s water quality surveillance efforts is evidenced from the fact that more than 1.64 crore water samples have been tested in 2022-23 alone, more than three times the number of samples tested in 2018-19 (50 lakhs). These efforts are likely to lead to significant reduction in cases of water borne diseases in the country.
Following the bottom-up approach, JJM is being implemented as a decentralized, demand-driven community-managed programme. More than 5.24 lakh Paani Samitis/ Village Water and Sanitation Committees (VWSC) have been formed and over 5.12 lakh Village Action Plan have been prepared under Jal Jeevan Mission to manage, operate, and maintain in-village water supply infrastructure.
With an active participation of people especially women, and rural communities working together, Jal Jeevan Mission has truly become a people’s movement, i.e. 'Jan Andolan'. For long term drinking water security, local communities and Gram Panchayats are coming forward and taking responsibility to manage in village water supply systems, their water resources and grey water
The States/ UTs are extending support to the Panchayats by engaging Implementation Support Agencies (ISAs) to facilitate constitution of VWSC, community mobilization, support in preparing Village Action Plan and carry out activities post infrastructure construction. More than 14 thousand ISAs have been engaged, which are actively working in the field.
For building capacity and to reorient the different stakeholders, 99 reputed Governmental and non- Governmental academic institutions/ agencies/ firms/ organizations/ think tanks/ training institutions, etc. are engaged as Key Resource Centres (KRCs). Capacity building of more than 18,000 people is done through Key Resource Centres empaneled under Jal Jeevan Mission.
Further, to supplement the efforts and support the States/ UTs, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation have formalized a Rural Wash Partners’ Forum (RWPF), where development partners along with sector partners involved in WASH sector have come forward to work in a collaborative manner with Government of India and State/ UTs for effective implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission.
Sustainability of ground and spring water sources is critical for sustained service delivery in rural households in the long term. It is in this context, “Source sustainability for Drinking Water” (JSA-2023-SSDW) has been kept as the central theme of Jal Shakti Abhiyan 2023. This will bring the necessary focus on water conservation for improving and sustaining the sources of drinking water supply, specially ground water sources and springs.
Jal Jeevan Mission is impacting the society in multiple ways. Regular tap water supply relieves women and young girls, from the drudgery of carrying heavy headloads of water to meet their daily household needs. On the other side, women can utilize the time saved from collecting water, for income generation activities, for learning new skills and for supporting their children’s education. The adolescent girls no longer have to miss school for helping their mother in collection of water.
A study by Nobel Laureate Dr. Michael Kremer and his team has brought out that nearly 30% infant deaths can be reduced if safe water is made available to families for drinking. Diarrhea is a very common ailment especially among new-born children. The newborns are more susceptible to water ailments. The study draws a conclusion that 1 in every 4 deaths, (1.36 lakh under five deaths per annum) pertaining to children below 5 years, and can be prevented in India with provision of safe water.
The JJM is also creating both direct and indirect employment opportunities in rural areas. A preliminary survey by IIM Bengaluru has assessed that about 1,47,55,980 person-year of employment can be created during the five-year period of implementation of JJM. This works out to be an average of 29,51,196 people employed in each year for the full year in the construction phase of the Mission. The Mission also will lead to employment of almost 10.92 lakh people every year for operation and maintenance of the piped water supply schemes.
Source : PIB
Last Modified : 4/6/2023
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