New Delhi [India], May 31 (ANI): The Jal Shakti Ministry has allocated Rs. 3,410.61 crore grant to Gujarat under the Jal Jeevan Mission for 2021-22 of which the first tranche of Rs 852.65 crore has been released.
The national Jal Jeevan Mission seeks to provide every household assured tap water supply on regular and long-term basis under its goal "Har Ghar Jal" (water in every house).
Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat approved the four-fold increase in grant allocation to Gujarat for water supply.
An official release said the Central Government's allocation for 2019-20 was Rs 390.31 crore which was raised to Rs 883.08 crore in 2020-21.
'Jal Jeevan Mission-Har Ghar Jal' was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2019 to ensure potable tap water supply to every rural home by 2024 to improve the lives of people living in villages especially women and girls.
In Gujarat, 10.94 lakh rural households have been provided tap water connections in 2020-21 and the state plans to provide more than 10 lakh households with tap water connections in 2021-22.
"Gujarat has 92.92 lakh rural households, out of which now 77.21 lakh (83pc) households have piped water supply," the release said.
During the review meeting with Shekhawat last year, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had promised to implement Jal Jeevan Mission with speed and on scale to ensure tap water supply to every rural household in the state by 2022, two years before the national target.
The release said that tap water supply to every household has been ensured in over 6700 of 18,000 villages in the state.
In 2020-21, tap water supply was provided to every household in about 5,900 villages. In five districts of the state, every rural household is having tap water supply.
As per annual action plan for the state approved by the National Jal Jeevan Mission, another 18 districts and 6,400 more villages will have 100 coverage tap water supply coverage.
It is expected that in next few months, every household in more than 12,000 villages and 23 districts of Gujarat will have tap water supply.
The release said that the state Government ensured tap water connections in all 29,754 rural schools and 42,279 anganwadi centres under the 100-days campaign announced by the Prime Minister and launched on October 2 last year.
The state government has also provided hand-washing facilities in 98.5 pc schools and about 91 pc anganwadi centres.
"This campaign and its successful implementation have ensured that safe water is now available to our children in all learning and day-care centres, facilitating better health, improved sanitation and hygiene," the release said.
It said that Gujarat has been a pioneer in the country for community engagement and setting up of 'Pani Samitis' for rural drinking water supply and this started with setting up of Water and Sanitation Management Organization (WASMO) in early 2002.
In 17,255 villages, there are 10-15 members Village Water & Sanitation Committees (VWSCs) which play an active role in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of the water supply systems.
So far, five-year Village Action Plans (VAPs) co-terminus with 15th Finance commission grant period, have been prepared in 17,107 villages to ensure long-term water security and improved sanitation.
It is a 'bottom up' approach where community plays a critical role from the beginning, the release said, adding that the community members map the water sources available and based on the requirement in the village, prepare a plan with the technical support from the public health engineers.
The state has built partnership with NGOs, community-based organizations and voluntary organizations to work as Implementation Support Agency (ISAs) to mobilize and hand-hold the local community. At present, 21 such ISAs are working and another 25 are planned to be engaged as ISAs.
This team along with 400 strong team of social mobilisers available with WASMO will hand-hold the community for preparation of village action plan, grey water management and source strengthening.
The state government has planned to take up capacity building and training as one of the major activities this year.
The release said that 8,000 people from Pani Samitis and from among public health engineers, ISAs would be trained for smooth functioning of water supply schemes and tap water connections and this will have long-term impact on achieving water security to every family in the state.
Gujarat has accelerated providing tap water connections in aspirational districts and SAGY (Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana) villages. The state has 86 water-testing laboratories of which eight are NABL accredited and has has planned to get all district-level laboratories this accreditation in the next few months.
To strengthen the monitoring of tap water provided to rural households, Gujarat has taken up smart water monitoring in 20 villages.
The state is planning to take up more than 500 villages this year for IoT (Internet of Things)-based smart water supply monitoring.
The release said that the Jal Jeevan Mission is creating new employment opportunities in villages and boosting the rural economy by investing more than Rs one lakh crore this year in rural drinking water supply. (ANI)