State Scan

Will Rajasthan be able to quench the thirst?

Rajasthan faces the water crisis every year., but Covid onslaught has created havoc in the state. Parched earth, soaring temperatures as the summer months peak and lockdown due to the Covid pandemic have thrown life out of gear in the rural parts of Rajasthan that have been seeing an acute water shortage. .A pan-Rajasthan plan is the need of the hour. Anil Tyagi
Enter Vol. XIV April 2021

Rajasthan has taken multi-village schemes for providing tap water to every rural household from surface water sources to water quality-affected areas, water-scarce areas and SC/ ST majority areas. The State government to install Community Water Treatment Plants as an interim measure to provide potable water for drinking and cooking in areas where piped water supply system is under implementation, which will take some time to be completed.

The Annual Action Plan emphasizes on drinking water source strengthening/ augmentation, greywater treatment & reuse, and operation & maintenance of in-village water supply system. The State is planning intense skill training of 2,42,653 people which includes officials, engineering cadre State & District Programme Management Unit staff, VWSC members, staff of ISA, etc. 32,250 personnel in the State will be trained as plumber, electrician, pump operators, etc. This trained human resource will in turn be employed to build the water supply infrastructure as well as for their operation and maintenance.

In 2021-22, in addition to Rs 50,011 Crore budgetary allocation for JJM, there is also Rs 26,940 Crore assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied grant to RLB/ PRIs for water & sanitation, matching State share and externally aided as well as State funded projects. Thus, in 2021-22, more than Rs. 1 lakh Crore is planned to be invested in the country for tap water supply to rural homes. This kind of investment in rural areas will boost the rural economy.

Press Information Bureau note claimed, that the Rajasthan presented their Jal Jeevan Mission Annual Action Plan today via video conference to the national committee chaired by the Secretary, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation with details of the saturation plan for the financial year 2021-22 as well as the plan for the State to ensure every rural household with tap water connection by 2024. Rajasthan has 1.01 Crore rural households, out of which 19.61 lakh (19.3%) are getting tap water supply. In 2020-21, about 6.77 lakh new tap connections were provided in the rural areas. In 2021-22, the State plans to provide 30 lakh tap connections.

Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is a flagship programme of the Union Government, which aims to provide piped tap water in every rural household by 2024. In the previous financial year 2020-21, Rs 2,522 Crore Central fund under JJM were allocated to the State while in the current financial year i.e. 2021-22, Rajasthan is likely to get Rs 5,500 Crore as Central fund under JJM. The national committee urged the State to utilize various funds through convergence. The State to dovetail all available resources by convergence of different programmes viz. MGNREGS, SBM, 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs, CAMPA funds, Local Area Development Funds, etc.

The Annual Action Plan emphasizes on drinking water source strengthening/ augmentation, greywater treatment & reuse, and operation & maintenance of in-village water supply system. The State is planning intense skill training of 2,42,653 people which includes officials, engineering cadre State & District Programme Management Unit staff, VWSC members, staff of ISA, etc. 32,250 personnel in the State will be trained as plumber, electrician, pump operators, etc. This trained human resource will in turn be employed to build the water supply infrastructure as well as for their operation and maintenance.

Rajasthan has taken measures to gear up testing the quality of water samples in 2020-21. State plans for NABL accreditation of 27 district level laboratories and NABL recognition 102 block level laboratories and 21 mobile laboratories in 2021-22. There is need for the state to set up district water testing laboratories and get NABL accreditation for the existing ones so that people are able to get their water tests conducted at nominal rates.

Jal Jeevan Mission focusses on community participation in planning and implementation of schemes through Village Water and Sanitation

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Committees (VWSC), Pani Samitis, etc. and preparation of Village Action Plan (VAP) for every village. 38,823 Village Water & Sanitation Committees has been constituted and preparation of 24,000 Village Action Plan has been planned this year to enable community plan, implement and manage its own water supply system. The State to start IEC campaign in all the villages to create awareness among the people about Jal Jeevan Mission and various aspects of water management.

The extensive exercise of finalization of Annual Action Plan (AAP) of States/ UTs under Jal Jeevan Mission, is done by a national committee chaired by the Secretary, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, members from National Jal Jeevan Mission and State officials. Thereafter, funds are released throughout the year based on quarterly progress and expenditure incurred from time-to-time. The detailed planning exercise is undertaken to help the State achieve ‘Har Ghar Jal’ in a time-bound manner as per the timeline set by the State, but before 2024. Let us wait and watch till 2024, whether “Har Ghar Jal” mission fulfils its promise.

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