The Government of India has released another Rs 169.60 crore to Meghalaya in order to speed up the execution of the Jal Jeevan Mission – a project to provide all rural households with potable water through household taps.
The Central government has allocated fund of Rs 678.39 crore to Meghalaya for 2021-22 for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission, which is nearly four times the allocation for 2020-21.
There are 5.90 lakh rural households in the State, out of which 1.88 lakh households (31.94 per cent) have tap water connection. In 2021-22, the State plans to provide tap water connections to 3.39 lakh rural households.
Further in 2021-22, Rs 82 crore is allocated to Meghalaya as 15th Finance Commission grant for water and sanitation to rural local bodies and there is an assured funding of Rs 426 crore for the next five years that is up to 2025-26 to the rural local bodies.
Meghalaya aims to become a State will tap water connection to all households by 2022.
In 2021-22, Meghalaya has planned to build the capacity of nearly 11,000 stakeholders which includes government officials, ISAs, public health engineers, village water and sanitation committee, surveillance committee and villagers.
Additionally, nearly 9,000 people in the State will be trained under skill training programme.
Skilling of local people will be ensured to work as mason, plumber, fitter, electrician and pump operator. Such initiative of providing employment in the villages under skilled and semi-skilled sections will provide income generating opportunities in villages.
With focus on public health, more than 2,000 water quality testing laboratories in the country have been opened to general public so that they can get their water samples tested whenever they so desire at a nominal cost. Meghalaya has 31 water testing laboratories.
Efforts are made to ensure tap water availability for drinking, cooking mid-day meal, washing hands and usage in toilets in all schools and Anganwadi centres.
Till date, 7,281 schools (55 per cent) and 2,442 (53 per cent) Anganwadi centres in Meghalaya have been provided with tap water supply.
The Centre has accorded top priority to the Jal Jeevan Mission in the country as evidenced by the massive increase in budgetary allocation to Rs 92,309 crore in 2021-22, from Rs 23,022 crore in the preceding year.
Announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2019, with the aim to provide assured tap water supply to every rural home by 2024, Jal Jeevan Mission is being implemented in partnership with the states.
Despite challenges faced due to Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, over 5.38 crore (28 per cent) households have been provided with tap water supply since the launch of the mission.
Till date, 8.62 crore (45 per cent) rural households receive potable water through household taps.
The states of Telengana and Haryana and the union territories of Goa, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu and Puducherry have achieved 100 per cent coverage of tap connections in rural households.