[Gist of Yojana April 2021] Jal Jeevan Mission

Mains Paper 2: Governance
Prelims level: Jal Jeevan Mission
Mains level: Functional Household Tap Connection

Introduction:

• To improve the quality of life and enhance the ‘ease of living’ of people of the country, Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) was announced by the Prime Minister on August 15, 2019 to provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural home by 2024.

• The outlay of JJM is Rs. 3.60 lakh Crore, out of which Union Government’s share is Rs. 2.08 lakh Crore and State’s share is Rs. 1.52 lakh Crore.

• At the time of the announcement, out of about 18.93 Crore families living in rural areas, about 3.23 Crore (17%) rural families had tap water connections in their homes. Thus, 15.70 Crore families were fetching water from a drinking water source outside their homes. Jal Jeevan Mission aims to reach all rural households by 2024, which is six years well ahead of the Sustainable Development Goal-6 target and could become a model for other developing countries to adopt such practices and achieve their SDG-6 goal.

Focus on ‘Service Delivery’:

• Under the mission, the focus has shifted to the assured supply of potable water to every home rather than merely infrastructure creation.

• Massive training and skilling programmes are being taken up to build the capacity of public health engineers and the local community including masons, plumbers, fitters, pump operators, etc. to ensure regular service delivery to every home.

• Public Health Engineering Department and Gram Panchayats and/or its sub-committees to play the role of a public utility.

• Jal Jeevan Mission has identified key priority areas such as water quality-affected habitations, villages in desert and drought-prone areas, SC/ST majority, and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana villages.

• Under the mission, 112 Aspirational districts with low human development indices and 61 JE-AES affected districts have been given top priority for providing piped water supply to every home.

• Consumption of contaminated water leads to water-borne diseases. Groundwater is a major source of drinking water and in some parts of the country, there are geo-genic contaminants like Arsenic, Fluoride, Iron, salinity, nitrate, heavy metals, etc.

• Under JJM, all villages with water quality issues, have been prioritised for potable tap water supply. In case, the building of surface water-based systems takes time, purely as an interim measure, provisions have been made to install community water purification plants to provide safe water at the rate of 8 – 10 litre per capita per day, to every household.

• Drinking water quality testing laboratories in various States/UTs have been opened to the general public so that they can get their water samples tested at nominal charges and ascertain the quality of drinking water.

Strategy for Implementation:

To ensure tap water supply in every home, the following strategy is adopted:

i. In villages where piped water supply systems exist, they are being assessed and if required, augmentation and retrofitting work including water source strengthening are taken up, to make them functional for the next 30 years and all households are given tap water connection.

ii. In villages with sufficient groundwater of prescribed quality, a single-village piped-water scheme based on the local water source to be built, and every household is given tap-water connection.

iii. Villages having sufficient groundwater, but with some geo-genic contaminants, single-village water-supply schemes, with treatment plant, are to be built.

iv. In water-deficient drought-prone and desert areas without a dependable source of water and in severe quality-affected areas, bulk water transfer and distribution network along with treatment plants, known as regional water supply schemes or group schemes are planned for assured piped water supply to every home.

v. In tribal/ hilly/ forested areas, gravity or solar power-based water supply schemes are planned, which are easy to operate and maintain as recurring operation and maintenance expenses are comparatively low.

vi. In hills and mountains, springs are explored as a reliable drinking water source. In hot and cold deserts, innovative technological solutions are encouraged.

Technological interventions:

• Jal Jeevan Mission leverages the use of technology to ensure transparency, accountability, proper utilisation of funds, and service delivery. A robust JJM-IMIS captures physical and financial progress under JJM with a dedicated ‘Dashboard- is in the public domain. A ‘MobileApp- is for the use of all stakeholders to bring in ease of working.

• A sensor-based IoT solution is piloted for measurement and monitoring water supply with respect to quantity, quality, and regularity in villages on a real-time basis. Every water supply asset created is geo-tagged.

• Hydro-geo morphological (HGM) maps are used in the planning of single-village schemes in identifying drinking water sources as well as building aquifer recharge structures. Household tap connections provided are linked with Aadhaar number of the ‘head of household- and more importantly, all financial transactions are undertaken through Public Finance Management System (PFMS).

Conclusion:

• To achieve the goal of Jal Jeevan Mission communities to be trained and empowered to plan, implement, manage, operate & maintain their in-village water supply system.

• There is a paradigm shift from the ‘department-based and construction-based’ approach to ‘service delivery’ approach with the index being empowered communities managing water supply in their villages.

• Gram Panchayats and/or VWSCs/Pani Samitis are to function as local water utilities with skills to ensure assured tap water supply in adequate quantity of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis to every home.

• Thus, Jal Prabuddh Gaon (water enlightened villages) will lead the path to make the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India).

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