A central grant of Rs 1,667 crore has been released to Maharashtra under Jal Jeevan Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti informed on Saturday.
Union Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi accords top priority to make provision of tap water connection in every rural household across the country. With a focus to expedite the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in Maharashtra, the Government of India released Rs 1,666.64 crores to the State.
The Central fund of Rs 7,064.41 crore has been allocated to the State for 2021-22 for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission, which is nearly four times the allocation for 2020-21.
There are 142.36 lakh rural households in the State, out of which 96.46 lakh households (67.76 per cent) have a tap water connection. In 2021-22, the State plans to provide tap water connections to 27.45 lakh households.
Top priority is accorded by the Union Government to Jal Jeevan Mission as evidenced by the massive increase in budgetary allocation to Rs 92,309 crore in 2021-22, from Rs 23,022 crore in the preceding year.
Further in 2021-22, Rs 2,584 crore is allocated to Maharashtra as 15th Finance Commission grant for water and sanitation to Rural Local Bodies/ Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and there is assured funding of Rs 13,628 crores for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26 to the rural local bodies.
Jal Jeevan Mission is implemented in a decentralized manner following the 'bottom-up' approach, wherein the local village community plays a key role starting from planning to implementation and from management to operation and maintenance.
For this, the State undertakes activities like strengthening the Pani Samiti and developing Village Action Plan as well as approving the same in the Gram Sabha, wherein the community deliberates on water supply schemes to be implemented for them.
The programme encourages participation by women in these discussions as they are the primary water managers in any household. Implementing Support Agencies (ISAs) are engaged by the department to create awareness in public about the mission, sensitize them about the importance of safe water, engage with the community and extend support to the Panchayati Raj institution for implementation of the programme.
Maharashtra has planned to build the capacity of 2.74 lakh stakeholders which includes government officials, ISAs, engineers, village water and sanitation committee, surveillance committee and Panchayat members. Nearly 4.15 lakh people in the State will be trained under a skill training programme. Skilling of local people will be ensured to work as mason, plumber, fitter, electrician and pump operator. Such initiative of providing employment in the villages under-skilled and semi-skilled sections will provide income-generating opportunities in villages.
With a focus on public health, more than 2,000 water quality testing laboratories in the country have been opened to the general public so that they can get their water samples tested whenever they so desire at a nominal cost. Maharashtra has 177 water testing laboratories.
Efforts are made to ensure tap water availability for drinking, cooking mid-day meals, washing hands and usage in toilets in all schools and Anganwadi centres. As of date, 72,032 schools (84 per cent) and 73,377 (80 per cent) AWCs in Maharashtra have been provided with tap water supply.
At the start of the mission in 2019, out of a total of 19.20 crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 Crore (17 per cent) had a tap water supply. Despite challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, over 5.38 crore (28 per cent) households have been provided with a tap water supply since the launch of the mission.
Presently, 8.61 crores (45 per cent) rural households receive potable water through household taps. Goa, Telangana, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry and Haryana have become 'Har Ghar Jal' State/ UT i.e. 100 per cent coverage of tap connections in rural households. Maharashtra aims to become a 'Har Ghar Jal' state by 2024.
Following the principle of the Prime Minister's vision of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas', the motto of the mission is that 'no one is left out' and every rural household is provided with tap water connection. At present, every household in 83 districts and more than 1.26 lakh villages are receiving a tap water supply.