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Relook at ‘Har Ghar Jal initiative’

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    22nd Sep, 2023

Context

With the JalJeevan Mission taking piped water to every village in India,and has risen from 1.2% in 2019 to 97.5% in 2023. This has eased women’s burden of work, but acceptance is slow.

So, let us relook the points and targets under the HarGharJal Mission.

About

About the Mission:

  • HarGharJal is part of the broader JalJeevan Mission,which focuses on sustainable water supply management and water resource development in rural areas.
  • The mission aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, which aims to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all.
  • HarGharJal, which translates to "Water to Every Home," is a flagship mission launched by the Government of India.
  • Objective: Its primary goal is to ensure that every rural household in India has access to clean and potable drinking water. The mission aims to provide tap water connections to all rural households by 2024.
  • The mission focuses on improving and expanding the rural water supply infrastructure, including the creation of piped water supply systems.
  • This involves constructing water sources, storage tanks, distribution networks, and individual household tap connections to deliver safe drinking water directly to people's homes.
  • Administered by:It coordinates efforts across government departments and agencies, including the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Ministry of Jal Shakti, to ensure a holistic approach to water management.

What is the progress so far?

  • As per the data published on the Jal Jeevan Mission’s official website, the number of rural households across the country that had access to piped and safe drinking water in August 2019 was 3.23 crore (which is 16.6% of all rural households).
  • As of July 2, 2023, that number stands at 12.45 crore households. However, this is still only 64% of all rural households.
  • So far, seven states and union territories have been certified as ‘Har Ghar Jal’

What’s causing the delay?

  • The Russia-Ukraine war that resulted in “major shortages of steel and cement, critical to the manufacture and connection of metal pipes
  • The lack of skilled manpower to make acceptable quality tanks, cisterns and water connections was also an issue.
  • The pandemic COVID-19 led to delays in the implementation of the ‘Har Ghar Jal initiative’ Restrictions and disruptions affected the availability of resources and manpower required for the project.

What are the loopholes?

  • A major challenge transporting water to villages sprawled across hundreds of kilometres is ‘leakage’.

Water is a matter included in Entry 17 of List-II, i.e. State List.

  • Unlike in cities and urban settlements where pumped water is stored in tanks, most of the villages with new tap connections don’t have centralised or even individual storage tanks.
  • Untreated water supplies are frequent in many regions causing diseases like Diarrhea, cholera etc.

Suggestive measures

  • States/ UTs have been advised to plan and implement piped water supply schemes of bulk water transfer based on safe water sources such as surface water sources or alternative safe ground water sources for the villages with water quality issues.
  • Rural Water Supply Department of State declares the village as ‘Har Ghar Jal’ village on the basis of work completion report of the field engineer associated with the project the villages are marked as ‘reported Har Ghar Jal’ in JJM IMIS.
  • The Gram Sabha should take a stand on the certification process.
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