All 18.17 lakh households in J&K to get tap water facilities by December 2022

By providing 100 per cent tap water connection, the note said, J&K will be a leading example to accomplish the ambitious target of providing tap connection to every rural home.

BY RAJNISH SINGH 

All 18.17 lakh households in Jammu and Kashmir will be able to get tap water facilities by December 2022, while the authorities in the newly created Union Territory (UT) will ensure the service in all schools and Anganwadi centres there within two months.

The UT’s 8.38 lakh (46 per cent) households have already been provided with tap water connections and the rest 54 per cent households will be covered as per the government’s plan by December 2022 ahead of national goal by 2023-24.

It was revealed in a mid-term assessment submitted to the Central government on Saturday by the Jammu and Kashmir during a review meeting of the project being run by the Ministry of Jal Shakti under its Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) move.

“The UT is allocated Rs 681.77 crore as Central share under JJM for this financial year. The Jammu and Kashmir is eligible for additional allocation based on physical and financial performance,” a Ministry of Jal Shaki note reveals.

By providing 100 per cent tap water connection, the note said, J&K will be a leading example to accomplish the ambitious target of providing tap connection to every rural home.

The note, accessed by IANS, mentions that children are the future of every nation and to provide safe water and improved hygiene is essential for their growth and holistic development.

The Ministry of Jal Shakti had launched a 100-day campaign on October 2,2020 based on the vision and under direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure potable water supply in all schools and Anganwadi centres across the country.

“The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir plans to fulfil the Prime Minister’s vision by providing safe water in all these institutions within the campaign period, so that the children will have access to potable piped water for drinking, hand washing and for use in toilets when the schools reopen,” the note mentions.

In order to assess the progress of implementation of JJM in states and UTs, a mid-year review of all states and UTs is being undertaken by the National Jal Jeevan Mission team, Ministry of Jal Shakti through video conferencing where states and UTs are presenting the status of the provision of tap water connection to rural households as well as the institutional mechanisms in place and the way forward to ensure universal coverage.

Jammu and Kashmir presented its progress on implementation of JJM in the Union Territory on Saturday.

The UT has finalised the Village Action Plan (VAP) in respect of 4,038 villages. The VAP comprises of components such as source strengthening, water supply, grey water management and operation and maintenance.

“Convergence planning to be done at the lowest level like in village or Gram Panchayat, for source strengthening, water harvesting, aquifer recharge, water treatment and grey-water management, etc., for which dovetailing of resources from MGNREGS, 15th Finance Commission Grants for PRIs, SBM (G), CSR funds, Local Area Development funds, etc could be used for judicious use of funds,” the Ministry note reveals.

An official linked to the JJM project told IANS on condition of anonymity that the Ministry has stressed on the constitution of Village Water and Sanitation Committees so that the local village community or Gram Panchayats and or its sub-committee as well as user groups to be involved in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of water supply systems in villages to ensure long-term sustainability of water supply systems to achieve drinking water security in rural areas.

According to the official, Jammu and Kashmir was asked to organise training for capacity building of Gram Panchayat functionaries as well as other stakeholders and also to focus on skill development training in villages to create a pool of trained human resources at village level, which will be very helpful in implementation of water supply systems.

JJM is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India. The programme will also implement source sustainability measures such as recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation and rain water harvesting.

The Central government project is based on a community approach to water and include extensive Information, Education and Communication as a key component of the mission. JJM looks to create a ‘jan andolan’ for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at rajnish.s@ians.in)

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