GUWAHATI: Yet again Assam is set to hit headlines for a wrong reason. This time around, it's about tap-water connection to rural households across the State under the JJM (Jal Jeevan Mission). Such a poor progress in giving tap water connections to rural households drops a board hint that the Mission's slogan – Har ghar jal by 2024 – may remain a distant dream in the State.
As on February 8, 2021, the average tap water connection to rural households in Assam is 6.4 per cent against the national average of 34.63 per cent. In ranking on this front, Assam has been placed second from the bottom. The State is ranked only above West Bengal from the bottom.
There are 63.65 lakh rural households in Assam. Of them, only 4.06 lakh rural households have been given tap water connection under the JJM, and this is just 6.4 per cent.
In fiscal 2019-20, Central allocation of Rs 694.95 crore under the JJM was made to the State. It was followed by another Central allocation of Rs 1608.51 crore in fiscal 2020-21.
The 'Jal Jeevan Mission' is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India. The programme launched in 2019 will also implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation, rain water harvesting, etc.
After the launch of JJM in 2019, as many as 3.09 lakh households were given tap water connections in the State. Prior to August 15, 2019, only 1,11,311 households had tap water connections in the State which stood at 1.76 per cent.
The PHE (Public Health Engineering) department, however, claims that it will met the target of 2024.