New Delhi, 09 April 2021: The Union Territory of Ladakh today presented its Annual Action Plan to provide tap water connection to the rural households of the UT before the committee of Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, with members from different Central Ministries/ Departments and NITI Aayog. The committee carries out a rigorous scrutiny of the proposed Annual Action Plan (AAP) prepared by States/ UTs before finalizing the same. Thereafter, funds are released throughout the year and regular field visits, review meetings are held to ensure implementation of the Annual Action Plan to achieve the goal of Jal Jeevan Mission.
Ladakh has planned to accomplish the ambitious target of providing tap connection to every rural household i.e. 100% coverage by 2022. Slow progress was made by the UT last yearprimarily due to Covid-19 pandemic lock down. During the currentyear2021-22, the UT plans to provide tap connections to 32,514 households and the remaining 11,568 household by next year. Out of 44,082 rural households in the UT of Ladakh, only 3,760 households so far have been provided with tap connections. Ladakh plans to provide tap connections in 451 schools, 449 Anganwadi Centre, 13 Ashramshala, 191 Gram Panchayat building and 327 healthcare centres.
In today’s meeting, the Additional secretary and Mission Director, National Jal Jeevan Mission stressed on retrofitting and augmentation of existing water supply schemes and urged the UT to start this work in ‘campaign mode’ to provide household tap connections from existing public stand-posts. The UT team assured expeditious implementation of the programme.It was highlighted that all drinking water sources need to be tested once for chemical parameters and twice for bacteriological contamination (pre and post monsoon) every year. Further, it was urged for training of at least 5 persons, preferably women, in every village for surveillance of water quality using field test kits (FTKs). The UT was asked for NABL accreditation of all laboratories in next few months.
The UT was impressed uponthe need for preparation of Village Action Plans as well as constitution of Village Water &Sanitation Committee (VWSC)/ Pani Samiti with minimum 50% women members, responsible for planning, designing, implementing and operating & maintaining of in-village water supply infrastructure. All villages have to prepare Village Action Plan (VAP), which essentially will comprise of development/ augmentation of drinking water sources, water supply, grey-water management and operation & maintenance component.
The UT administration assured that in the current year, they will form VWSCs and prepare Village Action Plan. The UT will engage local civil society organization to extend handholding support to the Panchayats and local village community in programme implementation. Skill training will be organized for the local youth in plumbing, fitting, electrical works and masonry so as to create a cadre of trained manpower in villages, which will not only help in implementationof water supply infrastructure works, but also ensure regular operation & maintenance is being taken care of by local community.IEC campaign will be organized in the UT so that Jal Jeevan Mission becomes a truly people’s movement.
It’s the endeavour of the Government to provide tap water connection in rural households on priority during the prevailing CoVid-19 cases surge in the country, so that rural people don’t have to go through the hardship of fetching water from public stand-posts.
Government of India is committed to provide assured basic services to the people living in rural areas of the country with focus on improving their living standard and enhancing their ‘ease of living’. Drinking water is a service delivery, wherein the quantity, quality of water supplied, and periodicity of water supply is being ensured for which the Union Government’s flagship programme, Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is under implementation since 15th August 2019. The objective of the Mission is universal coverage i.e., every family in the village gets tap water connection in their household.
In 2021-22, Rs. 50,000 Crore budgetary allocation has been made for Jal Jeevan Mission. In addition to this, there is also Rs. 26,940 Crore assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied-grants to RLBs/ PRIs for water & sanitation, matching State share and externally aided projects. Thus, in 2021-22, more than Rs. 1 lakh Crore is planned to be invested in the country on ensuring tap water supply to rural homes. This kind of huge investment will give a boost to manufacturing activities, create employment opportunities in rural areas as well as boost to rural economy.