IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


3rd July, 2023 Geography

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The Har Ghar Jal initiative is likely to fall short of its target, with only 75% of village homes expected to have drinking water taps by April 2024.


  • The Har Ghar Jal initiative aims to provide potable water connections to all rural households in India by 2024 under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • Multiple sources and data analysis indicate that the initiative is likely to fall short of its target, with only 75% of village homes expected to have drinking water taps by April 2024.
  • The scheme faced several challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, shortage of qualified manpower, state-specific issues, and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Challenges and Issues

COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • The pandemic led to delays in the implementation of the Har Ghar Jal initiative.
  • Restrictions and disruptions affected the availability of resources and manpower required for the project.

Shortages of Steel and Cement:

  • The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war resulted in major shortages of steel and cement, which are critical for manufacturing and connecting metal pipes.
  • Price revisions and contract renegotiations caused delays in the supply of these materials.

Lack of Skilled Manpower:

  • Many states faced challenges in finding enough skilled workers to construct tanks, cisterns, and water connections of acceptable quality.
  • Rajasthan, for instance, struggled with the availability of water itself, while West Bengal and Kerala dealt with water contamination issues.

Progress and Expectations

Expected Coverage:

  • Officials expect about 75% of households to be covered by March 2024 and 80% by December.
  • However, there are approximately one crore households (5% of the total) where work has not even begun, and some areas may not be fully connected until 2025-26.

Financial Outlay and Funding:

  • The Jal Jeevan Mission has a financial outlay of ₹3.60 lakh crore, with the center funding 50% of the cost and states/union territories bearing the rest.

Reported Tap Connections:

  • Data on the Jal Shakti Ministry portal indicates that about 63% of rural households have tap connections, benefiting approximately 9.1 crore households since 2019.
  • However, there is a significant gap between reported and verified connections, with only 58,357 out of 1,68,000 villages being certified as 'Har Ghar Jal' villages.

State-Specific Examples:

  • Uttar Pradesh witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of households with tap connections, but only a small percentage of villages have been certified.
  • Rajasthan and West Bengal also showed progress, but the certification process is still lacking in many villages.

Independent Verification

  • The government relies on independent mechanisms for verification, including an audit agency and a panel of National WASH experts.
  • A survey conducted in October 2022 found that only 62% of households in 5,298 reported 'Har Ghar Jal' villages had fully functional connections.

Political Angle

  • Two states, Bihar and Telangana, did not certify their connection status as they did not rely on central funds for their drinking water supply programs.
  • Certification involves prominently publicizing the Prime Minister and Chief Minister's images on posters, which some states are hesitant to do due to political reasons.

About Har Ghar Jal Initiative

  • The Har Ghar Jal initiative is part of the Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • Its objective is to provide potable water connections to all rural households in the country by 2024.

About Jal Jeevan Mission

  • The Jal Jeevan Mission is a flagship program launched by the Government of India.
  • Its aim is to provide tap water connections to every rural household in the country.

Objective and Scope

  • The primary objective of the Jal Jeevan Mission is to provide potable water to all rural households in India.
  • The mission focuses on ensuring piped water supply to every household, promoting ease of access to clean drinking water.

Targeted Coverage and Timelines

  • The mission aims to achieve 100% coverage of tap water connections in rural areas by 2024.
  • The target is to provide functional tap connections to approximately 19.5 crore rural households in the country.

Financial Outlay and Funding

  • The Jal Jeevan Mission has a significant financial outlay of ₹3.60 lakh crore.
  • The funding is shared between the central government and states/union territories, with the central government contributing 50% of the cost.

Key Features and Components

Infrastructure Development

  • The mission focuses on developing the necessary infrastructure for providing tap water connections.
  • This includes the construction of water sources, water treatment plants, storage tanks, distribution networks, and individual household connections.

Community Participation

  • The mission emphasizes the active involvement of local communities in planning, implementation, and management of water supply schemes.
  • It encourages the formation of Water and Sanitation Committees at the village level for effective community participation.

Capacity Building and Training

  • The mission focuses on capacity building and training programs for rural communities, particularly on water management and maintenance of infrastructure.
  • Training sessions are conducted to raise awareness about the importance of clean water and proper hygiene practices.

Water Quality Monitoring

  • The Jal Jeevan Mission emphasizes the regular monitoring of water quality to ensure that the supplied water is safe for drinking.
  • Testing laboratories are set up at various levels to monitor and maintain the quality of water supplied to rural households.

Implementation Strategy

Convergence with Other Schemes

  • The mission aims to ensure convergence with other government schemes, such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission), to achieve better outcomes in water supply and sanitation.

State-level Implementation Plans

  • Each state/union territory prepares a detailed implementation plan based on local needs and requirements.
  • These plans outline the strategy for achieving the mission's objectives within the specified timelines.

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Regular monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are established to assess the progress of the mission.
  • Performance indicators are used to track the implementation, coverage, and quality of water supply in rural areas.

Impact and Benefits

Improved Health and Hygiene

  • The mission aims to provide clean drinking water, reducing the risk of waterborne diseases and improving overall health and hygiene in rural areas.

Women Empowerment

  • Access to piped water connections reduces the burden on women and girls, who traditionally bear the responsibility of fetching water from distant sources.

Time and Productivity Savings

  • Availability of tap water connections saves time and effort, allowing individuals to engage in productive activities, education, and skill development.


Q) Consider the following statements:

  1. The central government funds 70% of the cost for the Jal Jeevan Mission.
  2. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war  led to the delay in the implementation of Har Ghar Jal initiative

Select the correct answer using the codes below:

(a)    1 only

(b)    2 only

(c)     Both 1 and 2

(d)    Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B