National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM), Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation (DDWS), has recently issued an advisory to the states and union territories to provide tap water connections on priority to the remaining few households in those villages with more than 90 percent coverage of household tap water connections. States have been urged for the provision of potable tap water to ‘all households’ in a village under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) based on the principle of equity and inclusiveness. Under JJM, every rural household is to be provided with tap water supply in adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis and ensuring that ‘no one is left out’. It was reminded that making every village as a ‘Har Ghar Jal’ village is the goal as it manifests the equity and inclusiveness approach. Further, the coverage of these households will also improve the number of ‘Har Ghar Jal’ villages in the states and union territories.
As reported by the states and UTs, there are more than 21,000 villages in the country where remaining 10 percent households are yet to be provided with household tap water supply. It was emphasised that these households can be easily covered by taking up retrofitting and augmentation work of the existing drinking water supply systems and thus, may be prioritised without any further delay and ensure its 100 percent coverage by end of this month. This issue will also be reviewed regularly.
Jal Jeevan Mission is implemented in partnership with the states and UTs, which aims to improve quality of life of people living in rural areas, by providing a household tap water connection to every rural household by 2024. In less than two years of the mission and despite challenges faced due to COVID-19 pandemic, more than 4.17 crore households have been given tap water connections. As many as 61 districts, 731 blocks, more than 89,000 villages have become ‘Har Ghar Jal’ i.e. 100 percent households in these areas are provided tap water supply. As a result, more than 7.41 crore (38.6 percent) rural households in the country are getting potable tap water in their homes.
Provision of assured tap water supply to every home brings ‘ease of living’ to rural communities, especially women by relieving them of the drudgery from fetching water from a distance. Safe water at home also helps people practice regular handwashing and maintain physical distancing by avoiding queues at public stand posts, which are most important measures in containing the spread of COVID-19.
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