JAL JEEVAN MISSION
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Context: The Minister of State for Jal Shakti presented details on the progress of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in the Lok Sabha.
Progress under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)
- Schools' Water Supply: The JJM aims to provide tap water supply in schools, including girls' schools, Anganwadi centres, and tribal residential schools, for drinking, cooking mid-day meals, and handwashing. Over 90.55% (9.23 lakh) of schools now have access to potable tap water.
- Toilets in Schools: Under the Swachh Vidyalaya Initiative launched in 2014, separate toilets for boys and girls were constructed in government elementary and secondary schools. Around 4.17 lakh toilets (2.26 lakh boys' and 1.91 lakh girls' toilets) were built or made functional in government schools, with 95.5% of government schools having boys' toilets and 97.4% having girls' toilets as per the UDISE+ 2021-22 data.
- Rural Household Water Supply: Since the initiation of JJM in August 2019, substantial progress has been made in providing tap water connections to rural households. Out of 19.24 Crore rural households, approximately 13.85 Crore (72%) now have tap water connections, which is a significant increase from the 3.23 Crore households at the start of JJM.
- Service Delivery Standards: Under JJM, the minimum service delivery has been set at 55 litres per capita per day (lpcd), with states having the flexibility to enhance this based on the availability of clean drinking water.
- Implementation Support: The government is actively involved in supporting the states and UTs in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of JJM. This includes joint discussions, annual action plans, capacity-building workshops, online monitoring systems (JJM-IMIS), financial management (PFMS), operational guidelines, and more.
Jal Jeevan Mission
- Water is essential for life, but millions of people in rural India lack access to safe and adequate drinking water. To address this challenge, the government of India launched the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) on August 15, 2019, with the aim of providing Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) to every rural household by 2024.
What is the Jal Jeevan Mission?
- JJM is a flagship program of the Ministry of Jal Shakti that envisages the supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through FHTC. The mission also covers the provision of FHTC to schools, Anganwadi centres, health centres, gram panchayat buildings and other community buildings.
- The mission is based on a community approach to water and involves extensive Information, Education and Communication (IEC) as a key component. JJM seeks to create a 'Jan Andolan' (people's movement) for water, making it everyone's priority and responsibility.
- The mission focuses on rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, water conservation and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture.
- JJM aims to create local infrastructure for these purposes and converge with other central and state government schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.
- The fund-sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.
Why is the Jal Jeevan Mission important?
- India has 17% of the world population, but only 4% of freshwater resources. Depleting groundwater levels, overexploitations deteriorating water quality, climate change, etc. are major challenges to providing potable drinking water. It is an urgent requirement for water conservation in the country because of the decreasing amount of groundwater level.
- According to the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) data, only 18.33% of rural households had access to piped water supply as of August 2019. The rest depended on various sources such as hand pumps, wells, tanks, etc., which are often contaminated or unreliable.
- JJM addresses this gap by ensuring universal access to clean water across rural households. This will have multiple benefits such as:
- Improving health and hygiene of rural people by reducing water-borne diseases.
- Enhancing socio-economic development of rural areas by providing livelihood opportunities and reducing drudgery of women and children.
- Promoting environmental sustainability by reducing groundwater depletion and pollution.
- Strengthening local governance and community participation by empowering gram panchayats and village water and sanitation committees.
Some of the initiatives taken under JJM include:
- Launching a dedicated online portal for monitoring the progress and performance of JJM at various levels.
- Conducting regular review meetings with state officials and district collectors to ensure timely implementation and fund utilization.
- Providing technical assistance and capacity-building support to state and district officials through national-level agencies such as the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), National Water Academy (NWA), etc.
- Organizing awareness campaigns and competitions on water conservation and management among school children, youth and women groups.
- Encouraging innovation and best practices in water supply systems such as solar-powered pumps, sensor-based smart meters, etc.
What are the challenges and way forward for the Jal Jeevan Mission?
- Lack of adequate human resources and institutional capacity at state and district levels to plan, execute and monitor JJM activities.
- Delay in fund release and utilization by some states due to procedural issues or lack of convergence with other schemes.
- Inadequate availability and quality of water sources in some regions due to geographical or climatic factors.
- Low awareness and participation of rural communities in water conservation and management practices.
- Difficulty in ensuring operation and maintenance of water supply systems and infrastructure in the long run.
To overcome the challenges and achieve the vision of JJM, the following steps are suggested:
- Strengthening the coordination and collaboration among various stakeholders such as central and state governments, gram panchayats, village water and sanitation committees, NGOs, etc.
- Enhancing the capacity and accountability of state and district officials through regular training, mentoring and performance appraisal.
- Streamlining the fund flow and expenditure mechanism by simplifying the guidelines and procedures and ensuring timely release and utilization of funds.
- Improving the water availability and quality by adopting scientific methods of source identification, development and protection.
- Increasing the awareness and involvement of rural communities by conducting effective campaigns and incentivizing their participation in water conservation and management activities.
- Ensuring the sustainability of water supply systems by establishing proper operation and maintenance mechanisms and involving local communities in their ownership and management.
- Jal Jeevan Mission is a historic and transformative initiative that aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water to every rural household in India. It is not just a scheme, but a people's movement for water. It requires the collective efforts and commitment of all stakeholders to make it a success. By doing so, we can ensure a better quality of life, health and dignity for our rural population and contribute to the nation's development and prosperity.
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JAL JEEVAN MISSION: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/jal-jeevan-mission-11
SIGNIFICANCE OF JAL JEEVAN MISSION: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/significance-of-jal-jeevan-mission
Q. What are the key objectives and strategies of the Jal Jeevan Mission in India, and how does it aim to address the challenges related to providing safe and sustainable drinking water to all rural households?