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Jal Jeevan Mission: Providing tap water in rural areas

Jal Jeevan Mission aims to to provide tap water connection to every rural household of the country by 2024

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Broksarthang is a small village in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh situated at the international border between India and Bhutan. It is situated at an altitude of around 2,900 meters above mean sea level (MSL).It has 22 households with the present population of 170 persons belonging to ‘Brokpa’ community. Brokpasare well known for their yak rearing and nomadic lifestyle. The village is approximately 76 km from the district headquarter, Bomdila and 36 km from Dirang, the nearest town.

Until 2019, the villagers were facing acute shortage of water supply, but under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), the Public Health Engineering department of the state provided treated water supply to all the households of the village in 2020. The scheme is based on piped gravity system and has been designed for the future population as well with an estimated cost of Rs. 67 lakh with provision of treatment plant in it. The community were involved in planning and implementation of the scheme. They contributed the 5 percent of in-village component of the water supply scheme in the form of labour.The Village Water & Sanitation Committee is active and the committee is in the process of taking over the operation and management of the water supply system. Jal Jeevan Mission mandates the involvement of local community in planning, implementation, operation and maintenance of water supply schemes.

The task of providing treated water supply was not easy due to harsh weather conditions ranging from sub-zero temperature in winter and incessant rain in monsoon. Construction part was the most difficult one as the skilled masons and labourers were very scarce to get and secondly they kept on leaving the worksite due to extreme cold and lack of basic facilities. Monitoring and transportation of materials during construction was equally difficult due of frozen icy road, zero visibility due to fog and frequent landslides. But braving all these odds, the work was completed as envisaged in the designed scheme. Most happy were the villagers, their joy was clearly visible as they happily received water in their households with tying of traditional “Kada” around the bib-cock with prayers.

Announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15th August, 2019, Jal Jeevan Mission is under implementation in partnership with states with the objective to provide tap water connection to every rural household of the country by 2024. The goal of the Mission is to enable every rural household has assured availability of potable water at a service level of 55 litres per capita per day (lpcd) on regular and long-term basis so as to bring improvements in lives of people living in rural areas.

The implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in these tough terrains and high altitude is a tough task. Impediments increase with the harsh climatic conditions and poor connectivity. Equally challenging is to instill behavioural change in the local community who are very reluctant to shun their beliefs and lifestyle. But the success story of this remote village is a proof of the better future envisioned by the Union government to improve the lives of people especially the women.

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