New Delhi [India], October 20 (ANI): A multi-disciplinary 10-member team from the National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) is on a four-day visit to the five districts of Rajasthan, the Ministry of Jal Shakti informed on Tuesday.
The team is visiting Rajasthan from October 18 to 21 in five districts of Baran, Dausa, Jodhpur, Bhilwara and Jaipur.
"Various aspects of programme implementation and progress made under the mission by the state will be discussed to understand the ground situation and assess the state's preparedness to meet the saturation deadline for ensuring 100 per cent tap water supply to all rural households. During the visit, the team will interact with district officials, the local village community, members of gram panchayat and Pani Samiti. Thereafter the team will debrief and share their observations with the district officials as well as senior officers of the state government," the statement issued by the Ministry of Jal Shakti said.
Rajasthan plans for a 100 per cent tap water connection to all rural households by 2024. Out of 1.01 crore rural households in the state, only 11.74 lakh (11.59 per cent) rural households had tap water supply as on August 15, 2019.
"Despite lockdown and disruptions due to COVID-19 pandemic, in last 2 years, 9.48 lakh households (9.36 per cent) have been provided tap water connections. Today, 21.22 lakh rural homes (20.95 per cent) in the state have a tap water supply. Rajasthan faces extreme water scarcity in many parts of the state as it is a desert-prone area that receives scanty rainfall. The need for providing safe drinking water, therefore, becomes very important and urgent in the state," the ministry said.
In 2020-21, Rs 2,522.03 crore Central grant was allocated to Rajasthan but it could draw only Rs 630.51 crore due to the slow pace of implementation. To assist the state to provide tap water supply to every household by 2024, Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has increased the Central allocation four-folds.
Rs 10,180.50 crore Central fund allocation for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in the State during 2021-22. With enhanced Central allocation and matching state share, Rajasthan has no dearth of funds under Jal Jeevan Mission for water supply works. However, the state is yet to draw the first tranche of Central allocation due to slow physical and financial progress.
In addition to this, in 2021-22, Rs 1,712 crore has been allocated to Rajasthan as the 15th Finance Commission tied grant for water and sanitation to Rural Local Bodies/ PRIs. There is assured funding of Rs 9,032 crore for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26.
To ensure tap water reaches every learning centre which includes schools, Anganwadi centres and ashram shalas, efforts are made by every state to make provision of tap water supply in these institutions for drinking, cooking mid-day meal, washing hands and use in toilets. As of now, 54,851 (63 per cent) schools, 25,934 (48 per cent) Anganwadi centre and 18,799 GP and CHCs (62 per cent) in the state have been provided with tap water connections. The state has been requested to ensure piped water supply to remaining schools and AWCs at the earliest.
At the time of the announcement of JJM on August 15, 2019, out of a total of 18.93 crore, rural households, 3.23 Crore rural households (17 per cent) of the country had a tap water supply. Since then, over 5.11 Crore (26.60 per cent) families living in rural areas have been provided with tap water connections. Now, more than 8.35 Crore (43.44 per cent) rural households have assured potable tap water supply in their homes, improving their quality of life and enhancing 'ease of living'.
COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent disruptions have affected the implementation of JJM on the ground but, National Jal Jeevan Mission is working closely with states/ UTs to sustain the momentum to provide tap water connections to remaining rural households in a time-bound manner. (ANI)