CANARA XTRA: NATION
New Delhi, July 08, 2021: To translate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of providing clean tap water to every household, Union government has increased the central grant to Karnataka under the Jal Jeevan Mission in the year 2021-22 to Rs.5,008.79 Crore, which was Rs.1,189.40 Crore in 2020-21.
Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat while approving this four-fold increase in allocation has assured full assistance to the State for making provision of tap water supply in every rural home in Karnataka by 2023.
At the start of the Mission in 2019, out of a total of 19.20 Crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 Crore (17%) had tap water supply. During the last 22 months, despite Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission, has been implemented with speed and 4.42 Crore households have been provided with piped connections.
With the increase in coverage by 23.36%, presently 7.66 Crore (40.5%) rural households across the country have tap water supply. Goa, Telangana, Andaman &Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have achieved 100% household connection in rural areas and has become ‘Har Ghar Jal’.
In Karnataka, out of 91.19 lakh households, 29.96lakh households (32.86%) have been provided with tap water connections. On 15th August 2019, at the time of launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, 24.51 lakh (26.88%) households had tap water supply. In 22 months, only 5.44 lakh households in the State have been provided tap water connections. State has planned to provide tap water connections to 25.17 lakh households in 2021-22, 17.93 lakh tap water connections in 2022-23 and remaining 19.93 lakh tap water connections in 2023-24 to achieve tap water supply for every rural household. The Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri B.S. Yediyurappa in his letter to Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has assured 100% coverage with tap water connection to every household of the State by 2023.
Keeping in view of the State’s firm resolve to ensure potable tap water supply to every home, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has approved Rs. 5,008.79 Crore as central grant under Jal Jeevan Mission, a four-fold increase than previous year’s central allocation. With this enhanced central allocation, opening balance of Rs 177.16 Crore, and State’s matching share of Rs 5,215.93 Crore, a total outlay of Rs 10,401.88 Crore under Jal Jeevan Mission is available for water supply work in the State for 2021-22. Thus, ensuring enough fund availability to accelerate the pace of implementation.
In 2021-22, Rs 1,426 Crore has been allocated to Karnataka as 15th FC tied grant for water & sanitation to Rural Local Bodies/ PRIs. There is an assured funding of Rs 7,524 Crore for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26. This huge investment in rural areas of Karnataka, will accelerate economic activities and also boost rural economy. It will create new employment opportunities in villages.
To ensure safe tap water to children in schools, ashramshalas and anganwadi centres in the country, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced 100-days campaign, which was launched by the Union Minister Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on 2nd October 2020. As a result, States/ UTs like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands have made provision of tap water in schools, ashramshalas and anganwadi centres. In Karnataka,41,636 schools (99%) and 51,563 anganwadi centres (95%) have access to piped water supply.Central Government has asked the State to ensure the provision of safe tap water in all remaining schools, ashramshalas and anganwadi centres immediately for better health, improved sanitation and hygiene for children.
The State also needs to accord priority in providing tap water supply to households in water-scarce areas, quality-affected villages, Aspirational districts, SC/ST majority villages and Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) villages.
Water quality monitoring & surveillance activities are to be given top priority, for which anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, members of Self-Help Groups, PRI members, school teachers etc; are being trained so that they can test water samples for contamination by using Field test Kits (FTKs). Out of a total of 78 laboratories, only 1 lab is NABL accredited. State needs to expedite upgrading of these waterqualitytesting laboratories and securing NABL accreditation. These labs should be open to public so that they can get their water samples tested at a nominal cost.
Jal Jeevan Mission is a ‘bottom up’ approach where community plays a vital role starting from planning to implementation, management, operation and maintenance. To achieve this, State Government has to undertake support activities like strengthening the Village Water & Sanitation Committee (VWSC)/ Pani Samiti, developing of Village Action Plan for the next five years, engaging Implementing State Agencies (ISAs) to handhold and support village communities, carry out awareness among people.
So far Karnataka has22,203 VWSCs or Pani Samitis in 28,883villagesand 19,446 Village Action Plan (VAPs) have been prepared. In the year 2021-22, the State has planned to engage 30 Implementing State Agencies (ISAs). Karnataka needs to train about 2 lakh people in rural areas to ensure long-term sustainability and operation & maintenance of the water supply infrastructure for assured water supply to every home.
Jal Jeevan Mission announced by the Prime Minister on 15th August 2019 from Red Fort is under implementation in partnership with States/ UTs to provide tap water connection to every rural household of the country by 2024. Total budget for Jal Jeevan Mission in 2021-22 is Rs 50,011 Crore.
With State’s own resources and Rs 26,940 Crore as 15th Finance Commission tied grant for water and sanitation to RLBs/ PRIs, this year, more than Rs 1 lakh Crore are being invested in rural drinking water supply sector. This is creating new employment opportunities in villages and boosting the rural economy.