Srinagar: In a bid to provide necessary impetus to the Jal Jeevan Mission in Jammu and Kashmir, Centre allocated a whopping Rs 9,289.15 crore for the union territory under the mission for 2022-23.
Jammu and Kashmir envisages to become ‘Har Ghar Jal’ UT by 2022-23. Out of 18.35 lakh rural households there, 10.39 lakh have tap water connections.
The mission thus envisages to provide drinking water supply in rural areas, in an adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis at affordable service delivery charges for improvement in living standards of the rural community.
Realising the importance of water conservation, the Ministry of Jal Shakti was created in 2019. Its objective is to ensure better management of water and provide clean drinking water to every citizen of the country.
“In 2021-22, the Centre had allocated Rs 2,747 crore which was nearly four times more than the preceding year 2020-21. This year the government allocated a staggering amount which is nearly more than double to its previous year budget.
“This substantial increase in JJM budgets every year is reflective of the concern and seriousness of the government towards materialising its commitment of providing tap water connections to every household and capacity building of Water Quality Management through testing, monitoring and surveillance,” an official said.
As per a report, Srinagar and Ganderbal districts have achieved the target of having 100 per cent households with tap water connections. Now efforts are on to ensure tap water availability for drinking, cooking mid-day meals, hand washing and for usage in toilets across all schools and Anganwadi centres. As on date, 22,421 schools (100 per cent) and 23,926 (100 per cent) Anganwadi centres in the UT have been supplied with tap water.
The government is targeting to achieve accreditation of all 20 district water testing laboratories and register all sub-divisional laboratories during 2022-23 under National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
The government expects the balance portion of work on Tawi Barrage costing Rs 73.34 crore to be completed during 2022-23. The work on Ujh Multi-Purpose project, which is first of its kind in Jammu and Kashmir, is also expected to start during 2022-23. It envisages utilisation of water resource potential of River Ujh, a tributary of River Ravi.
Jal Jeevan Mission, is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India. The programme will also implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation, rain water harvesting. The Jal Jeevan Mission will be based on a community approach to water and will include extensive Information, Education and communication as a key component of the mission.
This mission also aims to facilitate states/UTs planning of participatory rural water supply strategy for ensuring potable drinking water security on long-term basis to every rural household and public institution, namely GP building, schools, anganwadi centres, health and wellness centres.
The Jal Jeevan Mission mobile app has been developed for ease of work for all the stakeholders. Sensor-based loT solution will be used for monitoring to ensure supply of water in sufficient quantity on a real-time basis across villages on regular basis.
According to data, there are about 19 crore 4 lakh rural households in the country. When the Prime Minister announced the launch of thsi mission, about 15 crore 80 lakh or 81 per cent of these households did not have drinking water facility. This was also the case in about 50 per cent of the households in urban areas.
The condition of other sources of water, including the groundwater level, was also becoming alarming in many areas. Women in the country had to spend four hours every day collecting water for the house. That is, 120 hours a month and 60 days a year were spent only on water collection. They have to travel two to five miles every day.
But the central government’s JJM has now proved to be a boon for rural women. Its coverage has now crossed 42 per cent in about two and a half years.
JJM has been transforming the face of Jammu and Kashmir for the last couple of years. Through an integrated service delivery approach, the mission focused on sustainable practices with community-led and community-managed schemes, and source sustainability weaved into the water supply schemes.