GUWAHATI: Assam has cut a sorry figure in tap water connections to schools and Anganwadi centres under the JJM (Jal Jeevan Mission). However, the nodal department – PHE (Public Health Engineering) – claims to meet the 'Har Ghar Jal' target of 2024.
Assam is in the 26th position among 33 states and union territories in providing tap water connection to schools till June 10. Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram performed better than Assam. The PHE provided tap water connections to 32,059 of the 42,405 government schools in the state. This achievement is 75.60 per cent against the average national achievement of 83.80 per cent. As many as 10,348 schools are yet to get tap water connections in the state.
The department gave tap water connections to 19,510 of 34,941 Anganwadi centres in the state till June 10. It is 55.84 per cent against the national average of 79.82 per cent on this front. Mizoram and Manipur are ahead of Assam on this front. Assam is in the 28th position among 33 states and union territories.
PHE sources show some genuine hurdles for their slow progress of tap water connection to schools and Anganwadi centres in the state. They say that the process of amalgamation of certain nearby schools is underway in the state. "We have sought a clear-cut picture from the Education Department on the status of schools in the pipeline for amalgamation for the smooth progress of the tap water connection," a PHE official said.
In the case of Anganwadi centres, the PHE says that several such centres are in rented accommodations that pose problems for tap water connection. "On this front also, we need a clear-cut picture and policy decision," the official said. The department, however, is hopeful of meeting the Har Ghar Jal target of 2024 at all costs. "We are right on track," the official said.