Jal Jeevan Mission, the government’s flagship scheme to make piped water available to all, has provided about 2.8 million households with tap water connections in the first quarter of the year.
Additional secretary and mission director of National Jal Jeevan Mission Bharat Lal said on Wednesday, “We have to build on this momentum. We have to ensure that various works planned for 2021-22 are implemented with a sense of urgency.”
Jal Jeevan reports show an increase of 43.9 million in functional household tap connections since August 2019, when the mission was announced. The chief objective of the mission is to provide piped water supply (Har Ghar Jal) to all rural households by 2024.
In its periodic review published in the ninth edition of its monthly bulletin, National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) lists 13 activities that the state and Union Territory governments need to expedite to achieve the mission objective. These activities include providing 100% piped water to schools, anganwadis etc, voluntary ownership of water supply by local communities, and creating awareness on various aspects and significance of potable drinking water.
A Muralidharan, deputy advisor at Public Health Engineering (PHE) department in the ministry, said rainwater during monsoon could be utilised as drinking water. “Rains replenish groundwater, the major source for drinking water in most parts of the country. It fills up ponds, farm ponds, dams, reservoirs, wetlands and every depression on earth and gets stored as a surface water source, making itself available for drinking water service delivery,” he said.
Water conservation becomes essential as the frequency of natural disasters increases. Depleting groundwater levels, overexploitation and deteriorating water quality, climate change, etc., are major challenges to providing potable drinking water. The Jal Jeevan Mission focuses on integrated demand and supply management of water at the local level.