With an eye on the General Elections and the deadline approaching for the government’s ambitious bid to provide piped water to every rural household by 2024, the Centre’s marquee Jal Jeevan Mission has been allocated ₹69,684 crore, up from the ₹54,808 crore the department is expected to spend in the current financial year. This works out to a roughly 27% hike.
The Swachh Bharat Mission-Rural that aims to “sustain” the open defecation free (ODF) status in India’s villages has been apportioned ₹77,000 crore, up from the ₹60,000 crore the government expects to spend by March 2023.
Last week, the Jal Shakti Ministry tweeted that the government had provided 11 crore rural households with tap water connections. This worked out to about 56% of the targeted 19.3 crore households. In September 2022, 53% of the households, or 10.2 crore households, had been covered.
In October 2022, a Ministry-commissioned survey of a cross-section of rural households reported that Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Puducherry had more than 80% of households with fully functional connections, while less than half the households in Rajasthan, Kerala, Manipur, Tripura, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Sikkim had such connections.
A fully functional tap water connection is defined as a household getting at least 55 litres of potable water per capita per day all through the year.
Close to three-fourths of households, according to the survey, received water all seven days a week, and 8% just once a week. On average, households received water for three hours every day, and 80% reported that their daily requirements of water were being met by the tap connections.
The Jal Jeevan Mission has a financial outlay of ₹3.60 lakh crore, with the Centre funding 50% of the cost with States and Union Territories, except for Union Territories without a Legislature where it foots the entire bill, and north-eastern and Himalayan States and Union Territories with Legislatures, where it funds 90% of the bill.