SHILLONG: Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has hailed Meghalaya as the torchbearer state in providing tap water connections under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). During his visit to the state, the minister praised the state for producing outstanding results in JJM implementation and substantially increasing the number of households with tap water connections in the state.
At the initiation of the JJM in August 2019, only 4,550 rural households in Meghalaya had tapped water connectivity. Today tap connections have been established in as many as 2.61 lakhs households.
"With 41.5% growth in tap connectivity, Meghalaya surpassed the national growth rate of 36% making a role model state in JJM implementation". "I have a firm belief that Meghalaya will be able to provide tap water connections to the remaining households way before the deadline," declared Shekhawat.
According to Shekhawat what makes the achievement of the Meghalaya Government truly commendable is the fact that at the time of implementation of the JJM scheme, the State had less than 1 per cent coverage of tap water connected rural households. This according to the Minister clearly displays the quantum progress the state is making in ensuring safe and clean drinking water for its people under JJM.
"Meghalaya is the only state in India to qualify for 'Performance Incentive Grant under JJM' for 2 years in succession."
According to Shekhawat, Meghalaya is also probably the only state with a holistic water policy and announced that around Rs 700 crore would be spent in the state under watershed management in the process of which around 2500 ponds would be constructed.
The minister also lauded the efforts of the Meghalaya government for the ambitious projects that it has undertaken for spring rejuvenation and watershed management. The achievements of Meghalaya in these sectors would become an example for other states to follow, he added.
Commenting on Shekhawat's observations, CM Conrad K Sangma observed, "The Government of Meghalaya is striving hard to provide tap water access to every citizen. We thank Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat for his unstinted support to our state in JJM implementation. His kind words of encouragement and appreciation of our efforts will motivate us to work even harder and bring the benefits of the 'Jal Jeevan' mission to every Meghalayan household. Our state's JJM team will leave no stone unturned for Meghalaya to receive the JJM performance incentive for a record third year in succession. We will pursue our mission of achieving 100% functional household tap connection with renewed vigour."
It should be mentioned that recently President of India Droupadi Murmu conferred an award to Meghalaya for being one of the Best Performing states in the implementation of JJM in the country, a press release said.