Sikkim and Tripura plan to provide tap water connections to all rural households by March 2022 and 2023 respectively.
This comes against the backdrop of India’s 38% rural population being covered under the marquee Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), with 21.4% rural households already provided with tap water connection since the scheme’s launch in 2019.
“Tripura has around 800,000 rural households, of which 214,000 (27%) households have tap water connections. The state has planned to provide 100% tap connections to all rural households by 2023. The state has a good drinking water supply infrastructure and has water supply schemes in all 1,178 villages. In 2020-21, 142,000 tap water connections have been provided. The state plans to provide 380,000 tap connections in 2021-22,” Jal Shakti ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
The scheme aims to ensure assured tap water supply, or ‘Har Ghar Jal’, to all rural households by 2024. Four crore households have been provided with tap water connections since the scheme’s announcement on 15 August 2019.
“Sikkim, a tiny state nestled in the lap of Himalayas in north eastern India, has about 105,000 households, out of which 81,000 (77%) households have tap water connections. About 10,300 tap water connections were provided in 2020-21. State has planned to provide 100% tap connections in all households by the year 2021-22. The state also has a good water supply infrastructure and has water supply schemes in 411 villages,” the statement added.
This comes against the backdrop of water supply getting a leg-up in the Union budget presented in February, wherein an outlay of Rs2.87 trillion was announced for the launch of the Jal Jeevan Mission Urban. The aim is to supply water to 4,378 urban local bodies with 26.8 million tap connections
“In 2021-22, Rs50,011 crore budget allocation has been made for Jal Jeevan Mission. Further, there is also Rs26,940 crore assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied-grants to RLBs/ PRIs for water & sanitation, matching state share and externally aided projects. Thus, in 2021-22, more than Rs1 trillion is planned to be invested on ensuring tap water supply to rural homes. With this enhanced budgetary allocation, states are likely to get almost 2.5 times of central funds in 2021-22 vis-à-vis 2020-21,” the statement added.
In July 2019, the government had formed a new ministry, Jal Sakti, to address all water issues in the country. The Jal Shakti ministry was formed by integrating it with other existing ministries, such as water resources and the ministry of drinking water and sanitation. The larger aim is to work with state governments to ensure ‘Har Ghar Jal’ to all rural households by 2024.