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What is Jal Jeevan Mission?

  • IASbaba
  • September 21, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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Spotlight Sep 18: Seva aur Samarpan- Bees Saal Sushashan ke Series- Theme: Jal Jeevan Mission – https://youtu.be/xs6zwVnSuQ0 

GOVERNANCE/ ECONOMY

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • GS-3: Indian Economy & Challenges

Government of India has restructured and subsumed the ongoing National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) into Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household i.e., Har Ghar Nal Se Jal (HGNSJ) by 2024.

What is Jal Jeevan Mission?

  • It is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India
    • It envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
    • It also includes functional tap connection to Schools, Anganwadi centres, GP buildings, Health centres, wellness centres and community buildings
  • The programme will also implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation, rain water harvesting. 
  • JJM focuses on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level.
  • The Mission is based on a community approach to water. It looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.
    • It promotes and ensure voluntary ownership among local community by way of contribution in cash, kind and/ or labour and voluntary labour.
  • Parent Ministry: Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti
  • Funding Pattern: The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.
  • Four-tier implementation & monitoring of the scheme at National, State, District & village level.
  • There is a Water Quality Management Information System as well which is a dedicated one-stop information portal that provides information about the quality of water. Jal Jeevan Mission emphasizes that each local village should be able to test the quality of water not only at the source but also at the delivery points. For that purpose, the National Jal Jeevan Mission with the help of states is giving training to at least five women in one village, implying out of the 6 lakh villages, 30 lakh women will be trained. So far, 6 lakh women have been trained and they are assigned the task of testing the tap water quality which they get at their village level.

Therefore, all three aspects are taken care of under the Jal Jeevan Mission.: 

  • The source of water and its sustainability, 
  • The operation maintenance and providing tap water supply to each and every household, and
  • The treatment of the greywater or used water

Unburdening lives of women

For a country with 16 per cent of the world’s population, and only 4 per cent of the world’s freshwater resources, with the changing weather patterns and frequent droughts, over 250 of the 700 districts of India’s districts are now water stressed. Two hundred and fifty six of our approximately 700 districts have groundwater levels which are “critical” or “over-exploited” as per the latest data from the Central Ground Water Board (2017). To put it simply, this means that fetching water in these districts is now that much harder, as the water table has fallen that much deeper. 

According to a report by the National Commission for Women, on an average, a rural woman in Rajasthan walks over 2.5 km to reach a water source. This is probably an underestimate, but the bottomline is that our women and girls spend a significant proportion of their time on fetching water.

With women playing a leadership role in managing their community’s water resources, minus the drudgery of walking for miles to fetch water for their families, the Jal Jeevan Mission will provide a massive fillip to the ease of living for women, and they will no longer be beasts of burden.

Challenges involved:

  • Bigger states have bigger challenges. In water scheme though focus is village level scheme but many times support is not available very close to the villages. So, for that, there is provision of multi village scheme. Example is Rajasthan.
  • Also, in the Ganga belt, water quality issues are present in the form of impurity (arsenic, sulfur, etc.) contamination or other water quality issues and hence, providing water to households in these areas does take time.

But the states have taken this mission very seriously and they are doing their best to provide water to each household.

Way Forward:

  • Be it at the water conservation level, or greywater treatment, or the operation and maintenance level, all the levels require the community involvement as the main focus of the Jal Jeevan Mission is the community. Therefore, without community involvement it is not possible to successfully achieve the target. 
  • Earlier, all the programs were basically engineering-based programs so, most of the stress was on creating engineering water infrastructure. But this time, the emphasis is on service delivery not on infrastructure creation. Service delivery has its own challenges such as supplying adequate water, maintaining the sources, etc. Hence, all these aspects should be taken care of.
  • The empowerment of capacity building of the local village communities is very important. With the involvement of not only Ph.D. engineers but also the local people, the challenges will hopefully be met.

Can you answer this question?

  1. Enlightened water policy needs infrastructure. But more than that, it requires institutions with local and village ownership. Analyse.

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