The Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) recently reached a new milestone of providing tap water connections to 13 crore rural households to the public water system. Working with ‘speed and scale,’ the life-changing mission has boosted the coverage of rural tap connections from just 3.23 million homes at the Mission’s launch in August 2019 to 13 million in just four years.
On August 15, 2019, the nation celebrated its 73rd Independence Day, and the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, made an announcement about the Jal Jeevan Mission from the Red Fort’s ramparts. As of September 5, 2023, Goa, Telangana, Haryana, Gujarat, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh are the six states with 100% coverage, along with three Union Territories (UTs) – Puducherry, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and the Andaman & Nicobar (A&N) Islands.
Bihar is poised to have a saturation rate of 96.39%, and Mizoram of 92.12%, in the near future. Goa, Haryana, Punjab, the A&N Islands, Puducherry, D&NH, and D&D are examples of “Har Ghar Jal” certified States/UTs, meaning that the villagers in these states/UTs have confirmed through Gram Sabhas that “all households and public institutions” in the village receive an adequate, safe, and consistent supply of water.
In the entire country, 145 districts and 186,818 villages have reported 100% coverage. The Mission works with States/UTs to carry out the programme, and it is through the combined efforts of all parties—including development partners—that real transformational change is made possible. One new tap water connection is installed every second, transforming the nation’s rural landscape.
Since January 1, 2023, 87,500 tap connections per day on average have been made available. Uttar Pradesh has installed 61.05 lakh Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) since January 2023, placing it at the top of the list for progress made in the current fiscal year.
As a consequence of the persistent efforts of the Union and State governments, tap water is now available in 9.15 lakh (88.73%) schools and 9.52 lakh (84.69%) Anganwadi centres across the nation. Only 21.41 lakh (7.86%) households in the 112 aspirational districts of our country had access to tap water at the time of the Mission’s commencement; this number has since climbed to 1.81 crore (66.48%).
The work done under “Har Ghar Jal” is giving the rural inhabitants major socioeconomic advantages. Regular tap water supply relieves people, especially women and young girls, from century-old drudgery of carrying heavy bucket loads of water to meet their daily household needs.
Rural piped water delivery projects have always placed a strong emphasis on community involvement in their planning, implementation, operations, and maintenance (O&M) in order to maintain long-term sustainability.
In the nation, more than 5.27 lakh Village Water & Sanitation Committees (VWSC)/Pani Samitis have been established, and 5.12 lakh Village Action Plans (VAPs) have been created. These plans include those for enhancing drinking water sources, treating, and reusing greywater, and performing routine maintenance on in-village water supply systems.
22,016 habitations with a total population of 1.79 crore were afflicted by arsenic/fluoride poisoning in drinking water sources at the time of the Jal Jeevan Mission’s commencement. According to States/UTs, all areas affected by arsenic/fluoride now have access to safe drinking water. In this context, water samples are regularly collected and tested at the source and delivery sites.
By providing safe water through taps to all rural households, schools, anganwadis, and other public institutions, Jal Jeevan Mission is working towards achieving the SDG 6, which is to provide safe and affordable water to all, in line with its motto of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas.