New Delhi: Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Shekhawat discussed various aspects of implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in Manipur with the Chief Minister Shri N Biren Singh through video conferencing. This is in continuation of extensive exercise carried out by the Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti by consulting States/ UTs for the last 3 months, wherein water supply schemes of the States were analyzed so as to provide household tap connections in villages.
Government of India is implementing the flagship programme ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ in partnership with States to ensure every rural household in the country has Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) for potable water in adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis at affordable service delivery charges leading to improvement in their living standards. It’s the endeavour of the Government to provide tap connections in rural households on priority basis during prevailing Covid-19 situation, so that rural people don’t have to go to public stand-posts for fetching water.
The CM assured that all households of the State will be provided with tap connections by 2022. All habitations in rural areas will be covered through piped water supply, so that poor and marginalized people get tap connections in household premises. Manipur is planning 100% coverage by FY 2021-22, ahead of national goal by 2024. By doing so, Manipur will be the first State in North-East to accomplish the ambitious target of providing tap connection to every rural household.
Out of 4.51 lakh rural households in Manipur, 0.32 lakh (7.17%) are provided with FHTCs. Out of the remaining 4.19 lakh households, Manipur plans to provide tap connections in 2 lakh households during 2020-21. During the current year, State is planning for 100% coverage of 1 district and 15 blocks and 1,275 villages.
In 2020-21, ₹ 131.80 Crore has been allocated and including State share, there is assured availability of ₹ 216.2 Crore. State is eligible for additional allocation based on physical and financial performance. Since Manipur has been allocated ₹ 177 Crores under 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs and 50% of it is to be used for water supply and sanitation, Union minister requested the CM to plan for utilizing this fund for rural water supply, grey-water management and most importantly for ensuring long-term operation and maintenance of water supply schemes.
Union Minister urged the CM for constitution of village water & sanitation committee/ Paani Samitis as a sub-committee of Gram Panchayat with minimum 50% of women members that will be responsible for planning, designing, implementing and operating & maintaining of in-village water supply infrastructure. It was also stressed that all villages have to prepare Village Action Plan (VAP) which essentially will comprise of development/ augmentation of drinking water sources, water supply component, grey-water management and operation and maintenance component. The CM was requested to give undivided focus to the mission and IEC campaign along with community mobilization needs to be taken up to make Jal Jeevan Mission a people’s movement.
It was highlighted that all the drinking water sources need to be tested once for chemical parameters and twice for bacteriological contamination (pre and post monsoon) every year. The State was further asked to ensure training of at least five persons, preferably women, in every village for surveillance of water quality through field test kits (FTKs).
During the Covid-19 pandemic situation, efforts to provide household tap connections in rural areas will definitely improve the ease of living especially the women and girls by reducing their drudgery and making them safe and leading a dignified life.