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Karnataka plans to provide tap connections to all rural households under Jal Jeevan Mission by 2022-23

Karnataka presented their Annual Action Plan for implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in the State to the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The meeting conducted through a VC chaired by Secretary, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation approved the action plan of the State for 2020-21. The Ministry of Jal Shakti has been working with the States in preparing a roadmap to implement the Prime Minister’s flagship programme Jal Jeevan Mission, which aims to provide 55 litres of potable water per person per day to every rural household of the country by 2024.

Karnataka is planning 100% household coverage by 2022-23. Out of 89 lakh rural households in the State, 24.50 lakh have been provided with tap connections (FHTCs). In 2019-20, only 22,127 tap connections were provided. There is an immense scope to provide tap connections to remaining rural households. In 2020-21, the State is planning to enable 23.57 lakh households with tap water connections. Further, State is planning for 100% coverage of 1 district, 5 blocks and 8,157 villages during 2020-21. Focusing on the priorities of making provision of household tap connections in certain areas, Ministry officials stressed on the principle of ‘equity and inclusiveness’, while State plans to provide FHTCs to SCs/ STs, marginalized and weaker sections of the society. State plans to provide 23.57 lakh tap connections by way of retrofitting and augmentation of 3,139 existing piped water supply systems during this year, for which works are to commence in a ‘campaign mode’.

Karnataka State has 2 aspirational districts, so the State has been advised to give priority to these areas while planning. Similarly focus should be on universal coverage of quality-affected habitations, water scarce areas, SC/ ST dominated villages and villages under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.

Central Government has approved fund of Rs 1,189.40 Crore for implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in Karnataka in 2020-21, which is a considerable increase from Rs. 546.06 Crore in 2019-20.  State was asked for expeditious implementation of the programme in terms of physical outputs i.e. no of tap connections provided and commensurate financial progress, so that the State can avail additional funds based on the performance. With opening balance of Rs. 55.67 Crore available with the State and along with this year’s allocation of Rs. 1,189.40 Crore, and considering the State matching share, a total of Rs. 2,709.25 Crore will be available under Jal Jeevan Mission to provide tap connections to families in rural areas in Karnataka.

Also, the State would receive Rs 3,217 Crore as 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs, 50% of which will mandatorily be spent on water and sanitation. There is need for convergence planning to be done by the State under various programmes like MGNREGS, SBM (G), 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs, District Mineral Development Fund, CAMPA, CSR Fund, Local Area Development Fund, etc. at village level and Village Action Plan (VAP) of every village is to be prepared by dovetailing all such funds for carrying out water conservation activities leading to strengthening water source and ensure drinking water security.

State plans to involve local village community/ Gram Panchayats or user groups in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of water supply systems in villages to ensure long-term sustainability. In all villages, IEC campaign along with community mobilization is taken up to make JJM truly a people’s movement. State plans to engage women self-help groups and voluntary organisations to mobilize the rural community for creation of in-village water supply infrastructure as well as for their operation and maintenance.

Under JJM, provision has been made to test every source once for chemical parameters and twice for bacteriological contamination (pre and post monsoon) in a year as a part of water quality monitoring. State has been asked for mandatory testing of all water sources accordingly. It has also been advised for opening water quality laboratory facilities to general public. In each village, five women are being trained to test the quality of water supplied at village level. A lot of emphasis is given on accreditation of existing State and district level laboratories. Karnataka plans for standardization of 30 water testing labs in 2020-21.

In the prevailing CoVid-19 pandemic situation, State has been requested start works related to water supply and water conservation immediately in villages so as to provide works to the skilled/ semi-skilled migrant workers to provide livelihood as well as to ensure potable water in the households of rural people.