New Delhi, June 2 (Indus Prism) In an attempt to provide every household with assured tap water supply on regular and long-term basis, the Centre has allocated Rs 6,998.97 crore grant to West Bengal under Jal Jeevan Mission for the year 2021-22, an official statement said on Tuesday.
The Central allocation for 2019-20 was Rs 995.33 crore, which was increased to Rs 1,614.18 crore in 2020-21. Union Jal Shakti Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, while approving the enhanced allocation, also assured full assistance to the state for provision of tap water supply to every rural home by 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on August 2019, announced the Jal Jeevan Mission to provide tap water supply to every rural home by 2024 to improve the lives of people especially women and girls, as out of total 19.20 crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 crore (17 per cent) had tap water connections.
During last 21 months, despite disruptions due to Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the Mission has been implemented with speed and on a scale so that every household has provision of assured tap water supply by 2024.
“In this period, in the whole country, about 4.25 crore households have been provided tap water connections, thus increasing coverage by 22 per cent to presently 7.50 crore (39 per cent) of the total rural households in the country,” the Jal Shakti Ministry said.
At the time of announcement of the scheme, out of 163.25 lakh rural households in West Bengal, tap water supply to homes was limited to only 2.14 lakh rural homes. In the last 21 months, 14 lakh households have been given tap water connections, and thus coverage has increased to 9.9 per cent against the national average of 39 per cent, the Ministry said. In 41,357 villages and out of 1.63 crore rural households, about 1.48 crore rural homes are to be provided with piped water connection. In 2020-21, West Bengal provided 12.48 lakh tap connections against a target of 55.58 lakh.
“Due to slow implementation and resultant poor utilisation of fund, the state could not draw the full allocated amount. Now, the state has planned to implement Jal Jeevan Mission with speed to provide tap water connections to 43.10 lakh rural homes in 2020-21. To achieve these desirable targets, the state has to speed up the implementation by four-fold,” the Ministry said.