The Centre has allocated Rs 7,000 crore to Maharashtra under the Jal Jeevan Mission, the highest allocation to any state so far under the scheme that aims to provide tap water connections to every rural household by 2024, the Jal Shakti Ministry said on Thursday.
This is more than three times the funds allocated to the state last year, the ministry said.
Last week, the ministry had announced Rs 6,998.97 crore to West Bengal, the second highest allocation to any state under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have been allocated Rs 3,410 crore and Rs 5,117 crore while the northeastern states have been given Rs 9,262 crore.
"Central government has increased the grant-in-aid in 2021-22 to Maharashtra under the Jal Jeevan Mission to Rs 7,064.41 crore, which was Rs 1,828.92 crores in 2020-21," the Jal Shakti ministry said.
The allocation for Uttar Pradesh has not been done yet, however, it is expected to be more, the official said, citing the size of the state and its target to ensure tap water connections to every rural household by 2022.
Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in Uttar Pradesh in early 2022.
In Maharashtra, out of a total of 142 lakh rural households, 91.30 lakh (64.14 per cent) have been provided with tap water connections. On August 15, 2019, at the time of launch of JJM, only 48.43 lakh (34.02 per cent) households had tap water supply, the ministry said.
In 21 months, 42.86 lakh households in the state have been provided tap water connections, it added.
The state has planned to provide tap water connections to 27.45 lakh households in 2021-22, 18.72 lakh connections in 2022-23 and 5.14 lakh in 2023-24 to ensure tap water supply in every rural household, the ministry said.
The water supply work to provide tap water connection has not yet started in 29,417 villages in Maharashtra, the ministry said.
"Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has written a letter to the chief minister of Maharashtra, emphasising the work of providing tap connections should start in all the villages so that the state can provide tap water supply to every household by 2024," the ministry said.
Shekhawat has urged the state to recover the pace of implementation, which was 1.59 lakh tap water connections per month in the last quarter of 2020-21, which has dropped to about 9,800 tap water connections in April and May, he said.
In 2020-21, Rs 1,828.92 crore central grant was allocated to the state but it could not draw Rs 1,371.69 crore and surrendered this grant meant for tap water supply in rural areas of the state.
This year with more than three-fold increase in central allocation (Rs 7,064.41 crore), unspent balance of Rs 268.99 crore and shortfall in state matching share of Rs 149.43 crores in 2020-21, and matching state share in current year, the state has an assured availability of Rs 14,547.24 crore under JJM for water supply work in 2021-22, it said.
Thus, there is no shortage of funds for water supply, it added.
In 2021-22, Rs 2,584 crore have been allocated to Maharashtra as 15th Finance Commission is a tied grant for water and sanitation to rural local bodies/ PRIs.
The JJM aims to provide tap water connection to all rural households by 2024.
Goa, Telangana, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have achieved 100 per cent target of providing tap water connection to every rural household.