Jal Jeevan Mission: Flowing in the right direction

Source: Business Standard 

Synopsis:

Jal Jeevan Mission promises to go down in history as an iconic development initiative. Its objectives can be duly achieved by encouraging greater participation of corporations and charitable trusts towards it.

Background:

Rural India has 18.93 crore households, of whom only 17 percent had some version of a tap water connection. Realizing this disparity, the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) was launched by the Indian PM on 15th August 2019.

About Jal Jeevan Mission:
  • It aims to deliver a functional tap connection by 2024 to every household in rural India.
  • The total mission outlay has been estimated at Rs 3.60 trillion, of which Rs 2.08 trillion is the share of the Central government.

Read moreJal Jeevan mission

Benefits of JJM:
  • The expected outcomes are linked to a reduction in drudgery in the life of women and providing dignity of life to rural communities.
  • The Mission will also see the skill-development of an entirely new set of plumbers, masons, pump-mechanics, quality-control specialists across Bharat — opening up a vast job market. 
    • At 15 new jobs per village, there would be an addition of 90 lakh new jobs in rural India. 
Progress of JJM:
  • The reported progress to date has been more than satisfactory. It has met around 41% of its target as of July 2021. It does appear that by 2024, the overall target can be achieved. 
  • This by itself will be commendable considering the federal structure of our polity, the diversity of the water-source challenge in different geographies, and the sheer granularity of the deliverables.
Other measures that JJM can take:
  • Experts suggest launching an aggressive outreach program for corporations, trusts, and foundations in India and abroad. This may enable them to participate in this historic drive by adopting a cluster of villages.
  • Further, the evolution of the Pani Samitis into local Water Utilities can be widened to include electricity, public health, and education. 
  • The numerous incidences of contamination of groundwater with fluoride, arsenic, iron, salinity, nitrate, and heavy metals are posing quite a challenge. 
    • A dedicated technical team to address the long-term elimination of these conditions will be a blessing to the affected communities.
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