Clearing the water

Source: This article has been framed based on India Express article “Clearing the water”, published on 4th July.

Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2 – Social Issues – Availability of drinking water

News: In 2019, government promised that rural households would be assured of piped, potable water by 2024. However, the progress has been slower than expected due to various challenges.

What is the present status of potable water?

In 2019, only about 3.2 crore, or about 16% of rural households, had access to piped water. Today, those figures stand at 64%, a substantial increase but still below the target.

The Jal Shakti Ministry has been working on the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ mission to provide piped water connections to households. Since 2019, about nine crore households have gained access to piped water.

Some of the large States with 100% compliance, i.e., Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, already started on a fairly high base in 2019.

The figures are based on the data reported by States.

What are the factors that are hindering the progress?

The COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have reportedly slowed down the mission. It has created hurdles in accessing pipes and civil construction, which is necessary for the project.

There is a discrepancy in villages declared as ‘har ghar jal’ and the certified villages. States have reported only 1,68,157 villages as ‘Har Ghar Jal’ and only about 35% of these villages have been certified, which means gram panchayats have reported full compliance.

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