Gajendra Shekhawat Writes To Uddhav Thackeray Asking Maharashtra Government To Speed Up Work On Har Ghar Jal Mission; Work Yet To Begin In Around 29,000 Villages

Gajendra Shekhawat Writes To Uddhav Thackeray Asking Maharashtra Government To Speed Up Work On Har Ghar Jal Mission; Work Yet To Begin In Around 29,000 Villages Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

In a bid to boost the water supply work to provide tap water connection to rural households in Maharashtra, Centre today increased the grant-in-aid to Rs 7064.41 crore.

This is a four fold increase from the previous year’s allocation of Rs. 1,828.92 Crores. This boost in allocation takes the state’s total available funds for supply of water to rural households under Jal Jeevan Mission(JJM) to Rs 14,547.24 crore as a large portion of the previous year’s allotment too has stayed unutilised.

Maharashtra had failed to withdraw Rs 1,371.69 crore last year and surrendered the grant. So this, along with an unspent balance of Rs 268.99 crore, coupled with the state share for the last year and this one each amounting to Rs 149.43 crore each, and the current boost in allotment takes the total available fund availability to Rs 14,547.24 crore for water supply work in 2021-22.

That apart, the state has also been allocated Rs Rs 2,584 crore as 15th Finance Commission tied grant for water and sanitation to rural local bodies. This means the state has assured funds of Rs 13,628 crore for the next five years upto 2025-26.

But despite availability of funds the state‘s pace of implementation of the work to provide all rural households with tap water connections isn’t on par with other states. The state is yet to start work in 29,417 villages.

Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has written a letter to the state’s Chief Minister stressing on the need for work to begin in all villages so that the target of having 100 per cent functional tap water connections in all rural households is achieved by 2024.

Shekhawat has also sought that the state fix the lag in pace of implementation. While 1.59 lakh tap water connections were provided every month from January - March 2021, it dropped to around 9,800 connections in April and May.

91.30 lakh households out of the total 142 lakh rural ones in the state have been provided tap water connections since the launch of JJM on 15 August 2019, as per a release by the ministry of Jal Shakti. 42.86 lakh households in Maharashtra were provided tap water connections in the last 21 months.

The proposed target for 2021-22 is 27.45 lakh, while for 2022-3 the state intends to provide connections to 18.72 lakh households and 5.14 lakh in the last phase of the mission ending 2023-24.

As Shekhawat approved the increase in fund allocation today, he also assured the state full assistance to achieve the target of 100 per cent by 2024, as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 at the launch of the mission.

Until 2019, only 17 per cent of the 19.20 crore rural households in the country had tap water supply. But in the last 21 months, this figure has gone up by 22 per cent with 4.27 crore households getting new tap water connections taking the number to a total 7.51 crore.

Goa, Telangana, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have achieved the 100 per cent target of Har Ghar Jal.

Harsha is a staff writer at Swarajya.


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