The story so far: The Centre announced on June 7 that over 50 per cent of rural households have access to tap water supply, just as the Modi government completes eight years in power.
Under its Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), the Centre aims to provide safe drinking water through individual household tap connections to all households in rural India by 2024. As per the JJM dashboard, around 9.65 crore households (50.38 per cent) have tap water connections across the nation as of June 10, 2022.
At the State level , Goa, Telangana and Haryana have achieved 100-per-cent tap connectivity to all households in the State. Union territories like Puducherry, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu have also provided 100 per cent of their households with tap water connections.
What is Jal Jeevan Mission?
Flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2019, the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) aims at ensuring potable drinking water security in every rural household and public institution across India by 2024. In collaboration with States and Union Territories (UTs), the Centre plans to provide a Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household.
Under JJM, the government plans to develop reliable drinking water sources or augment existing sources to provide FHTC on a long-term basis to every rural household. The scheme also aims to develop bulk water transfer facilities, treatment plants and a robust in-village water distribution network.
With an outlay of Rs 3.60 lakh crore, the fund-sharing pattern for Centre and States/UTs is 100 per cent for those UTs without a legislature, and in a ratio of 90:10 for North Eastern and Himalayan States/UTs with legislatures. It is a 50:50 split for the remaining states.
Moreover, for Support and Water Quality Monitoring System (WQMS) activities, the Centre-States/UTs funding share is 100 per cent for all UTs, in a ratio of 90:10 for North Eastern and the Himalayan States and 60:40 for other States.
The Centre has allocated Rs 2.08 lakh crore for JJM from 2019 to 2024, according to a press release from the Ministry of Jal Shakti. In 2021-2022, the Centre released more than Rs 40,000 crores to States/UTs for providing household tap water connections. The budgetary allocation for the same scheme has been increased to Rs 60,000 crore. Despite the COVID-19 lockdowns imposed on and off in 2020 and 2021, more than 2.06 crore rural households were provided tap connections. With three UTs and three States achieving 100 per cent FTHCs to all rural households, 108 districts and 1.53 lakh villages have reportedly achieved a 100 per cent water supply.
State-wise progress under JJM
As per the JJM dashboard, FHTC coverage across India has improved from 3.23 crore households (17 per cent) in August 2019 to 9.49 crore households (49.10 per cent) as of April 2022. With 100-per-cent FHTC coverage, Telangana has provided water to almost 53.87 lakh households, Haryana to around 30.97 lakh households, and Goa to 2.63 lakh houses.
States with over 90 per cent FHTC coverage are (approximate figures are in brackets) – Punjab at 99.72 per cent (34.3 lakh connections), Gujarat at 95.91 per cent (88 lakh connections), Himachal Pradesh at 93.05 per cent (16 lakh connections) and Bihar at 92.74 per cent (almost 1.6 crore connections.)
States with the least FHTC coverage are — Rajasthan at 24.87 per cent (26 lakh connections), Chhattisgarh at 23.10 per cent (11.5 lakh connections), Jharkhand at 20.57 per cent (12.18 lakh connections) and Uttar Pradesh at 13.86 per cent (36.64 lakh connections.)
Tap water connections to schools and Anganwadis too have gone up from 2019 to 2022. As per the latest Jal Jeevan Samwad edition, 8.58 lakh schools have piped water supply as of April 30, 2022— amounting to 83.37 per cent of schools — up from 48,772 schools in 2020. Similarly, 8.86 lakh Anganwadi centres (79.34 per cent) are now receiving piped water, as of April 30, 2022 — up from a mere 25,092 Anganwadi centres in 2020.
Despite the total lockdown imposed in 2020, 25 lakh households across India received tap water connections. Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat stated that water-related work commenced immediately after the 23-day total lockdown was over in March-April 2020, boosting JJM’s progress.
Two States which have achieved tap water supply to a large population are Telangana and Bihar.
As per the JJM dashboard, around 53.87 lakh households were identified across Telangana of which only 29.11 per cent (around 15.68 lakh ) had tap water connections. Since the launch of JJM, the remaining households have also been provided with tap water connections, bringing the state to 100 per cent connectivity.
Under JJM, 100 per cent tap connections have been provided in all 32 districts, covering 542 blocks, 12,738 panchayats and 10,450 villages The highest number of water connections have been provided to Nalgonda , followed by Khammam , Nizamabad, Sangareddy and Bhadradri Kothagudem. .
JJM has been supplemented by the State’s own Mission Bhagiratha — a brainchild of current CM K Chandrashekhara Rao from when he was the MLA for Siddipet in 1998. Under the scheme, the State government aims to supply 100 litres per capita per day (LPCD) for rural areas, 135 LPCD for municipalities, 150 LPCD for municipal corporations and 10 per cent for industrial requirements. The State has also reserved 10 per cent of water from all Irrigation sources for drinking purposes.
With an outlay of Rs 46,123 crore, the scheme uses the Krishna and Godavari river basins and their tributaries to lay a 1.5 lakh-km-long pipeline network across 1.11 lakh sq. km. The project estimates that the water requirement in 2048 for Telangana will be 86.11 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) – to be supplied by the Krishna (32.43 TMC) and Godavari (53.68 TMC) river basins.
Integrating the Centre’s JJM with the State’s existing water schemes, Mission Bhagiratha uses gravity for 98 per cent of its water transmission and distribution network – effectively cutting down on operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. Under the State’s scheme, 113 water treatment plants, 1708 major tanks, 35,260 village overhead reservoirs and 69 intake structures have been built across the state.
This scheme was lauded by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat in 2021 when Telangana achieved 100 per cent FHTC, acknowledging the smooth implementation of Mission Bhagiratha aiding the central water scheme. . Telangana minister E. Dayakar Rao claimed that the State’s drinking water scheme was the inspiration behind the Jal Jeevan Mission and that it had received several awards at the national level.
When the JJM scheme was launched in 2019, only 1.84 per cent of households— around 3.16 lakh— had drinking water connections. Since the launch of the scheme, more than 1.56 households have been provided with tap water connections, bringing the State to 92.74 per cent water connectivity
100 per cent of tap water connections have been provided in one district, 139 blocks, 5752 panchayats and 33,113 villages in Bihar. While work is progressing in 4632 villages, it is yet to begin in 1711 villages. i Arwal is the sole district with 100 per cent FHTC with slightly more than 1.22 crore connections followed by Rohtas at 99.88 per cent, Kaimur at 99.75 per cent, Munger at 99.7 per cent and Gopalganj at 99.62 per cent.
Unlike Telangana, Bihar’s state drinking water scheme gained momentum with the launch of JJM. In 2015, when Nitish Kumar again came into power in Bihar, he flagged off the ‘Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal’ programme to provide clean drinking water to 2 crore households in his State. The programme has four schemes under it — Mukhyamantri Gramin Peyjal Nishchay Yojana (CM rural drinking water scheme), Mukhyamantri Gramin Peyjal Nishchay Yojana - Gunvatta Prabhavit Kshetr (CM rural drinking water scheme — quality affected districts, Mukhyamantri Gramin Peyjal Nishchay yojana - Gair Gunvatta Prabhavit Kshetr (CM rural drinking water scheme – non-quality affected districts) and Mukhyamantri Shahri Peyjal Nishchay Yojana (CM urban drinking water scheme).
In 2018-19, against the goal of providing 71.16 lakh rural households with drinking water, the Bihar government managed to provide water to only 26.39 lakh households. Similarly, only 1.56 lakh households of the 36.33 lakh quality affected households were provided with tap water. 3.82 lakh households of the 22.49 lakh non-quality affected households and 3.03 lakh households of the 8.42 lakh urban households were provided with potable water connections. The entire programme only had an outlay of Rs. 8373.54 crores from 2016-2019.
In 2020-21, the Centre allocated Rs. 1832.66 crore to Bihar to provide tap connections to the remaining 1.50 crore households. Cumulatively, since 2019, Centre has allocated over Rs 6600 crores to Bihar under the Jal Jeevan Mission. However, the Bihar government has insisted that the State’s exceptional performance in providing tap connections was due to the its scheme and not the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission. However, as per the national dashboard, a giant leap in tap water connections in Bihar wasseen post the launch of JJM.