The Union government which has increased the Central grant to Andhra Pradesh under the Jal Jeevan Mission this year to Rs 3,182.88 crore from Rs 790.48 crore last year, has expressed concern over the slow pace of work in the state.
The Centre, while approving this four-fold increase in allocation has assured full assistance to the state for making provision of tap water supply in every rural home by 2024. However, the state is lagging behind the national averages in this regard.
In Andhra Pradesh, out of a total of 95.66 lakh households in 18,650 villages, 46.89lakh households (49.02 per cent) have been provided with tap water connections. At the time of launch of Jal Jeevan Mission in 2019, 30.74 lakh (32.14 per cent) households had tap water supply.
In 21 months,16.14l akh (16.88 per cent) households in the state have been provided tap water connections, which is less than the national increase of 22 per cent. Andhra Pradesh has to provide tap water connections to the remaining 48.77 lakh households to claim 'Har Ghar Jal' status.
The state has planned to provide tap water connections to 32.47 lakh households in 2021-22, 12.28 lakh in 2022-23 and 6 lakh in 2023-24 to achieve the goal.
In 2020-21, AP could provide only 12.97 lakh tap water connections. In all, 874 villages have seen no work. The state has to provide about 4 lakh tap water connections per month to achieve the target set for 2021-22. The Union minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, has already urged the state to accelerate it.
Surprisingly, during 2020-21, though Rs 790.48 crore Central grant was available, only Rs 297.62 crore was drawn by the state and the rest surrendered to the Centre.