With eyes on the 2024 polls, the government’s national scheme to provide potable water supply to every rural household has picked up pace, with Goa becoming the first state to get certified under ‘Har Ghar Jal’ with 100% coverage.
All 2.63 lakh households in both districts of the state have now been provided potable tap water connections, at a cost of over Rs 200 crore in the past three years. Among UTs, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu has taken the lead and completed certification with potable tap water connectivity to all 85,156 rural households, with an expenditure of nearly Rs 512 crore in the past three years.
The Centre is also inching close to the mark of 10 crore households in the next few days.
The country-wide mission rolled out by the government in August 2019 has a 2024 deadline. After a delay caused by the pandemic, the scheme has now achieved 52% coverage. Goa is also a state with 100% metered water connections.
Haryana, Telangana, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have reported 100% coverage, but are yet to be certified. While other states such as Punjab (99.9%), Gujarat (97%), Bihar (95.49%), Himachal Pradesh (94.85%) are also inching closer to the target. However, the work is yet to gain momentum in 13 big states, including Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for 95% of the residual work.
The Centre has now set September 30 as the deadline for all states to award contracts for all pending works.
In order to make the process transparent, the department has also made it necessary for the gram panchayats to validate and pass a resolution once the target has been achieved by the village.
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The gram sabha meetings also need to be videographed and uploaded on the department portal, where they would be certified.
As many as 1.5 lakh villages have reported 100% coverage, and are currently in the process of getting certification.
Vikas Sheel, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti and Mission Director, Jal Jeevan Mission, said it is important for more districts to come forward and complete the certification process so they can get the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ distinction. “We are encouraging state administration to come forward and get districts certified, hand holding them through the entire process,” he added.
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