Nearly 1 lakh households in rural India are getting tap connections every day since India stepped out of the nationwide lockdown on June 1, 2020. Amid Covid-19 pandemic, since Unlock-1, about 45 lakh tap connections have been provided so far in the year 2020-21, said a statement by the Ministry of Jalshakti. The Narendra Modi government launched the Jal Jeevan mission in August last year. The ‘Nal Se Jal’ scheme under this mission targets to provide tap connections to every household of the country till 2024. In the seven months of 2019-20, around 84.83 lakh rural households were provided with tap connections. However, the government figures suggest that out of 19.04 crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 crore households have tap connections while the remaining 15.81 crore households are yet to be provided with tap connections.
The government said that its objective is to cover nearly 16 crore households in a time-bound manner while ensuring the functionality of already provided connections. This means that 3.2 crore households are to be covered every year, that is nearly 88,000 tap connections are required to be provided on a daily basis. The government further informed that the states and Union Territories are working hard to provide tap connection to every rural household, among which, Bihar, Telangana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are on top.
In the current fiscal, Rs 23,500 crore has been allocated for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission and at present, more than Rs 8,000 Crore of the central fund is available with the states and UTs for the same cause. On top of that, half of the 15th Finance Commission grants to Rural Local Bodies, which is Rs 30,375 crore have also been earmarked for water supply and sanitation.
The ministry believes that the move towards providing tap water to rural households will help in better planning, implementation, management, operation, and maintenance of drinking water supply systems in villages so that people continue to get potable water on a regular and long-term basis. Meanwhile, the increased speed in providing tap connections have also helped the government in creating new job opportunities in the hinterland. Under the recently launched Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan, many returnee migrant labourers have been absorbed in the work related to laying fibre optics cable, railway works, urban mission jobs, sanitation and drinking waterworks, waste management, poultry, and farm ponds.