New Delhi: The State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee (SLSSC) of Uttar Pradesh on November 11, 2021 approved proposals submitted by the State worth Rs 1,882 Crore for making provision of tap water connections in rural areas. These schemes will cover a population of 39 lakh in 1,262 villages of 33 Districts. In the said meeting, 735 schemes were approved by the committee. As per the approval, tap water connections to be provided to 4.03 lakh rural households of the State.
As on date, 34 lakh (12.9%) rural households out of 2.64 Crore are getting tap water supply in their homes. In 2021-22, the State plans to provide tap water connections to 78 lakh households.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), there is provision for constitution of State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee (SLSSC) for consideration and approval of schemes to be taken up for making provision of tap water supply to rural households. The SLSSC acts as a State level Committee to consider water supply schemes-projects, and a nominee of the National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM), Government of India is a member of the committee.
To translate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of providing clean tap water to every household and freeing women and girls from the drudgery of fetching water from a distance, the National Jal Jeevan Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti has already released Rs. 2,400 Crore grant–in–aid to Uttar Pradesh during 2021-22. In 2019-20, Central Government had allocated Rs. 1,206 Crore to Uttar Pradesh for implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission, which was increased to Rs. 2,571 Crore in 2020-21. Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat while approving this four-fold increase in allocation in 2021-22, assured full assistance to the State for making provision of tap water supply in every rural home by 2024.
In Uttar Pradesh, there are 2.64 Crore rural households in over 97 thousand villages, out of which now 34 lakh (12.87%) households have tap water supply in their homes. During the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, only 5.16 lakh (2%) households had a tap water supply. In the last 26 months, despite disruptions faced during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, the State has provided tap water connection to 28.85 lakh (10.92%) households. The State aims to make 5 districts ‘Har Ghar Jal’ in the current financial year.
To accelerate the pace of JJM implementation, National Jal Jeevan Mission has urged the State to take necessary measures to provide tap water supply to 78 lakh rural households in the State this year, for which the State plans to start water supply works in more than 60 thousand villages by December, 2021. With this year’s Central allocation of Rs. 10,870 Crore and with an opening balance of Rs. 466 Crore available with the State Government, the State’s matching share of 2021-22 and shortfall in matching State share of previous years, the total assured fund available for the implementation of JJM in Uttar Pradesh is more than Rs. 23,500 Crore. Thus, the Government of India is ensuring that there is no paucity of funds for the implementation of this transformational mission in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
Further, Rs. 4,324 Crore have been allocated to Uttar Pradesh as 15th Finance Commission tied grant for water & sanitation to Rural Local Bodies-PRIs in 2021-22. There is assured funding of Rs. 22,808 Crore tied grant for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26. This huge investment in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh will accelerate economic activities and also boost the rural economy. It will create income-generating opportunities in villages.
Prime Minister had laid the foundation stone of piped water supply schemes for the rural areas of 7 districts viz. Jhansi, Mahoba, Lalitpur, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Banda and Chitrakoot in the Bundelkhand region in February 2019; and in November 2020, for rural drinking water supply projects for Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts of Vindhyachal region. These are water-stressed areas. These projects will benefit about 18.88 lakh households in 6,742 villages of the region. So far, the physical progress is about 50% in these schemes.
To take forward the mission’s motto of ‘Building partnership, changing lives’, various reputed organizations have started working with the local community in the State to ensure drinking water security on a long-term basis. UN agency like UNOPS has already mobilized resources on the ground and actively working in about 140 villages of Bundelkhand, Vindhyachal, Prayagraj and Kaushambi. Aga Khan Foundation is working in 40 villages of Lucknow and Sitapur. Similarly, Tata Trust is mobilizing its resources in 200 villages of 3 districts of Balarampur, Bahraich and Shravasti. With this type of participation, Jal Jeevan Mission is becoming a ‘Jan Andolan’.
The NJJM team emphasised the need for effective community contribution- which is a non-negotiable aspect of Jal Jeevan Mission. The need for water availability assessment and source sustainability is much needed in the State as most of the schemes in Uttar Pradesh are ground water-based. The NJJM team suggested including the provision of greywater management through convergence in the water supply schemes as it’s a very important component of the Jal Jeevan Mission.
Water quality monitoring & surveillance activities are given top priority by imparting training to 5 women in each village, for regular and independent testing of drinking water sources and delivery points using Field Test Kits (FTKs). Water testing laboratories are upgraded and open for the general public so that people can test their water samples at a nominal rate.
With a focus on ‘service delivery, 10 villages in Baghpat district are being taken for ‘online measurement & monitoring system’ as part of Grand Technology Challenge being run by Jal Jeevan Mission in partnership with MeiTY, GoI and State Government. The ‘online system’ will generate alerts whenever the water supply in the village is disrupted so that timely corrective action can be taken.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission, water quality-affected habitations, Aspirational & JE- AES affected districts, SC-ST majority villages, SAGY villages in the State are given priority. Working in line with ‘SabkaSath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas’, Jal Jeevan Mission aims at universal access to the potable tap water supply to the most vulnerable and marginalized people.