Puducherry has become a ‘Har Ghar Jal’ Union Territory (UT) by ensuring that every rural home in the UT gets a household tap connection.
With this, the UT became the fourth state/UT after Goa, Telangana, and Andaman, and the Nicobar Islands to provide assured tap water supply to every rural home under the Union government’s flagship Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
All 1.16 lakh rural households in Puducherry have a tap water supply now. The UT has achieved the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ status much ahead of the fixed target.
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During the finalization of the annual action plan for the UT in April, it was urged to utilize various funds available through the convergence of different programs like MGNREGS, JJM, SBM (G), 15th FC Grants to PRIs, District Mineral Development Fund, CAMPA, CSR Fund, Local Area Development Fund, etc. at the village level and prepare the Village Action Plan (VAP) dovetailing these resources for achieving long-term drinking water security.
The UT is also planning to get NABL accreditation/recognition for its water quality testing laboratories and take up testing of all drinking water sources on a campaign mode.
Puducherry is now planning for effective treatment and reuse of the greywater coming out of the homes. The UT is also actively working towards water source sustainability.
Puducherry is blessed with various rivers and tributaries. Five rivers in Puducherry district, seven in Karaikal district, two in Mahe district, and one in Yanam district drain into the sea, but none originates within the territory. Puducherry has 84 irrigation tanks and more than 500 ponds which are the lifeline for groundwater recharging systems, drinking water, and agriculture.
Puducherry has also been consistently working towards de-silting of ponds and rejuvenation of its local water bodies, which is crucial for drinking water supply schemes. Effective community mobilization and participation are achieved through a well-charted IEC plan by the UT.
“Despite the challenges faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, JJM is being implemented in partnership with states and UTs to provide safe tap water in adequate quantity of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis to every rural home by 2024,” said the Ministry of JAL Shakti.
Further, Punjab and the UTs of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu have also crossed the milestone of covering 75 percent of rural homes with assured tap water supply.
“A total of 26.31 lakh households (76 percent) in Punjab out of 34.73 lakh have tap water supply and the state plans for 100 percent coverage of all rural households by 2022,” the ministry said.
The JJM is a flagship program of the Union government, which aims to provide tap water connection to every rural household of the country by 2024.
In 2021-22, in addition to Rs 50,011 crore budgetary allocation for JJM, there are also Rs 26,940 crore assured funds available under the 15th Finance Commission tied grant to RLB/PRIs for water and sanitation.
Thus, in 2021-22, more than Rs 1 lakh crore is planned to be invested in the country on ensuring tap water supply to rural homes. (IANS/KB)