HAR GHAR JAL
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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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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:
Select the correct answer using the codes below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2