GUWAHATI: Union Minister of Ministry of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has expressed confidence that Assam will meet the target of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) even before the 2024 deadline.
JJM, a flagship programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aims at providing functional tap water connections to every rural household in the country by 2024.
After reviewing the status of the progress of implementation of JJM in the North Eastern States at the Assam Administrative Staff College, Khanapara Shekhawat told reporters on Thursday that even though Assam was lagging in the execution of the scheme, implementation has now gathered momentum. He said that Assam should be able to meet the JJM target even before the stipulated deadline of 2024.
Till August 2021 Assam had provided tap water connections to only 17.49 per cent of rural households. Of the total 63.35 lakh rural households in the State, 11.08 lakh households have tap water connections. Among all states and union territories, Assam ranks 28th in the implementation of JJM.
Shekhawat said the present average annual per capita water availability has been assessed as 1,500 cubic metres. He said the figure was 5,000 cubic metres decades ago, and the fast increasing population would further reduce the average per capita water availability in India.
"India ranks first among all countries in the world about their dependability on groundwater. In the future, India will become more vulnerable to water scarcity. Under such circumstances, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created a separate and dedicated Ministry of Jal Shakti to implement various schemes for judicious use as well as adequate availability of water to all households in the country. The JJM is one ambitious scheme," Shekhawat said.
The Union Minister said that 78 districts in the country have achieved 100% success in the implementation of the JJM. He said that his ministry decided to set up drinking water testing laboratories in all districts and blocks in the country. A total amount of Rs 9,800 crore as a Central grant has been allocated to the NE States under JJM during the current financial year.
Shekhawat said that his ministry would also roll out ambitious schemes to provide tap water connections to all households in urban areas.