NEW DELHI: Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, in his letter to Chief Minister of Mizoram, has expressed his concerns over the slow progress of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in the State. After announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his last Independence Day speech, States are implementing JJM, which aims to provide potable drinking water to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) by 2024. This Mission is a tool to provide security and dignity to rural women especially girls. While stressing on the need for proper planning to be done to achieve the goal of JJM within the time frame with focus on retrofitting/ augmentation of existing water supply systems to provide tap connections to remaining households, the Jal Shakti Minister urged the CM to focus on taking up works immediately in a 'campaign mode' in 655 villages in the State reported to have existing piped water supply schemes. Priority is to be given to saturation of villages in aspirational districts,
SC/ ST dominant villages/ habitations and villages covered under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
Shekhawat mentioned that under Jal Jeevan Mission funds are provided by Government of India based on the output in terms of household tap connections provided and the utilization of available funds. Against the target of providing tap connections to 23,525 households in the year 2019-20, 15,878 tap connections were provided. Mizoram was allocated Rs 39.87 Crore in 2019-20 and with performance grant, total Rs 68.05 Crore was released, out of which the State could only spend Rs 37.41 crore, leaving an unspent balance of Rs 30.78 Crore. The allocation for Mizoram has been increased to Rs 79.30 Crore in 2020-21, and with opening balance of Rs 30.78 Crore, Mizoram has assured availability of Rs. 110.08 Crore of Central fund. With matching State share, the State will have Rs 122.30 Crore during 2020-21 for implementation of JJM. The Central Minister stressed that providing potable water to every rural household is a national priority and the State should make efforts to accomplish the goal in time-bound manner. (PIB)
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