Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Lauds Uttarakhand State for Providing Tap Connection at Rupee 1

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New Delhi.Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat conveyed his appreciation to the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat for the expeditious planning and execution of Jal Jeevan mission in the State. In a meeting held today between the Jal Shakti Ministry and Uttarakhand State via video conferencing, the  Minister congratulated the State Government for advancing their mission target of 100% FHTC to year 2022.  Shekhawat  lauded the State for their intensive planning exercise & initiative to provide tap water at the cost of Re 1/- per household connection.

The State is currently providing 18.55% of rural households with tap connection, which is 20th highest in the country. Uttarakhand State in the year 2020-21, is planning to provide 3.59 lakh households with tap connections. However, 54,000 FHTC (15% of the annual target) has been provided by the State till date. The Minister voiced his pragmatism that the State will not only provide remaining households with tap connections, but potable water service delivery in adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular basis will also be ensured to all households as envisaged under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
Shekhawat expressed hope that through augmentation & retrofitting the State can easily reach their ‘Har Ghar Jal’ status considering the fact that the 87.44% of the State households have access to PWS. Furthermore, out of 15,218 villages of the State, 14,594 (95.90%) villages have existing piped water supply in which only 542 (3.5%) villages have 100% household connections. To improve the ground situation  Minister stressed on the need to expedite the physical progress on ground.
Further, echoing the ethos of Jal Jeevan Mission, Uttarakhand Chief Minister presented the State’s blueprint citing special focus on the rejuvenation of Himalayan streams and Springshed management- to ensure long term water security. The Chief Minister also resolved to carry the baton of Mission in the Uttarakhand and work in a campaign mode for its success. To spearhead the ‘special campaign’ of providing potable water to all, the Uttarakhand CM has set a target of providing 10 lakh household in the coming six months.
Amongst the list of immediate targets of the State-aspirational districts hold a priority. In 2 Aspirational districts of Hardwar and Udham Singh Nagar, out of 4.51 lakh households, 4.05 lakh tap connections (90%) need to be provided. Out of the total 1,120 aspirational villages- only 17 have 100% tap connections.  Shekhwat advised the State to pursue these areas at the earliest as they hold antecedence for the Union Government. Similarly, SAGY villages and DPAP blocks are other two priority areas that need special focus. In this endeavour Government of India is providing full support to the States
With multiple rivers and rivulets, Uttarakhand is adorned with the title of ‘water bank of Asia’. But, since past decade due to massive deforestation, pollution and impending droughts, State has slipped into water crisis situation; thus, forcing its residents, particularly women and children to walk for miles to fetch clean water. Taking cognizance of the situation the Union Government is providing full cooperation and assistance to the State.
The goal of JJM is to improve the lives of people, particularly women and children, by providing safe drinking water to every rural household. Union Government is committed to provide full assistance to the State Government in their efforts to achieve this goal of universal coverage of water supply to each household.
It is to be noted that the Central Government has increased the fund allocation for the year 2020-21, from 170.53 crores to 362.58 crores to the State. Thus, with opening balance of 66.60 crore, summing up with the present allocation, the State has assured availability of 429.17 crore of central fund under JJM. This will give a big boost to the State for planning and implementation of their water supply schemes. Shekhawat advised the State to well utilize their existing water resources through convergence of various programmes like MGNREGS, JJM, SBM (G), 15th FC Grants to PRIs, District Mineral Development Fund, CAMPA, CSR Fund, Local Area Development Fund, etc. The video conference concluded on a positive note of adapting a cohesive approach towards the success of Jal Jeevan Mission.

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