Raipur. Union Minister Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel jointly reviewed the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in the State at Chief Minister House in Raipur on Saturday. The Chief Minister assured the Union minister that the State will take all necessary steps to accelerate the pace of implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission and provide tap water supply to the remaining 39.59 lakh households in Chhattisgarh by September 2023. Shekhawat assured the Chief Minister of all support to the State to achieve the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ target. It intends to translate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of providing clean tap water to every household in the country by 2024.
The Chief Minister assured that the State will undertake an intensive monthly review to provide assured tap water supply to every rural household inadequate quantity of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis. Ravindra Chaube, Minister of Water Resources, Parliamentary Affairs, Law and Legal Affairs, Agriculture and Biotechnology, and Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Guru Rudra Kumar, Minister of Public Health and Engineering and Village Industries, Amitabh Jain, Chief Secretary, Chhattisgarh, Bharat Lal, Additional Secretary, GoI and Mission Director, National Jal Jeevan Mission, and other senior officers from Ministry of Jal Shakti and Chhattisgarh were present during the review.
During the meeting, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, National Jal Jeevan Mission, Bharat Lal, made a presentation highlighting the planning and implementation of JJM in the State. Later, he also had a detailed review meeting with the principal secretary and other senior State officials on the speedy implementation of the mission in Chhattisgarh.
At the time of the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, out of a total of 45.48 lakh households in Chhattisgarh, only 3.20 lakh (7%) households had tap water connections. In 23 months, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown disruptions, 2.69 lakh households have been provided with tap water connections. As a result, now, 5.89 lakh households (13%) in villages of Chhattisgarh have a tap water supply.
To become ‘Har Ghar Jal’, the State has planned to provide tap water connections to 22.14 lakh households in 2021-22, 11.37 lakh tap water connections in 2022-23 and the remaining 6.29 lakh tap water connections in 2023-24.
Given the State’s firm resolve to ensure potable tap water supply to every home, Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has increased the Central grant to Chhattisgarh in 2021-22 to Rs. 1,908.96 Crore, which was four times Rs. 445.52 Crore allocated in 2020-21. National Jal Jeevan Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti has also released Rs. 453.71 Crores to the State as the first tranche. This year with a four-fold increase in Central allocation (Rs 1,908.96 crore), an unspent balance of Rs 168.52 Crore & a shortfall of Rs. 113.04 Crore in State matching share in 2020-21, and matching State’s share in the current year, the State has an assured availability of Rs. 4,268 Crore for providing tap water supply in 2021-22. Thus there is no scarcity of funds.
In 2021-22, Rs. 646 Crore has been allocated to Chhattisgarh as the 15th FC tied grant for water & sanitation to Rural Local Bodies/ PRIs. There is assured funding of Rs 3,402 Crore for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26. This huge investment in rural areas of Chhattisgarh will create new employment opportunities, accelerate economic activities and boost the rural economy. It will create income-generating opportunities in villages.
The mission will raise demand for masons, electricians, plumbers, motor mechanics, pump operators, etc. in large numbers for creation and management, operation and maintenance of water supply schemes to ensure potable water supply on a regular and long-term basis. Further, the demand for materials like cement, bricks, pipes, valves, water/ energy-efficient pumps, faucets will increase. Thereby, increasing demand for locally available workers as well as domestic manufacturing industries, which in turn will help in realizing the goal of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
To ensure safe drinking water for children in schools and Anganwadi centres, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 100-days campaign on 2nd October 2020. In Chhattisgarh, only 17,967 schools (39%) and 10,019 Anganwadi centres (21%) have access to the piped water supply. The Union Minister urged the State to ensure that in a few months, provision of safe tap water is made in all remaining schools, ashram shalas and Anganwadi centres for better health, improved sanitation and hygiene.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission, the State also needs to prioritise water-scarce areas, quality-affected villages, Aspirational districts, SC/ ST majority villages and Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) villages.