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Minister of Jal Shakti Concerned on West Bengal’s Slow Implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission Scheme

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
Saumy Deepak Tripathi

The Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has raised concern over the low implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission that aims to provide piped water to every household in India by 2024. The scheme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day Speech last year.

Low amount of connections provided

The state had a target of providing 32 lakh households with tapped water but it only managed to provide a meager 4750 tapped connections at the same time. The state was provided with a budget of Rs. 994 crore out of which they could only spend Rs. 428 crore. Furthermore, an additional Rs. 1,305.70 crore was provided to supply water to those areas where the groundwater was contaminated with Arsenic/Fluoride out of which Rs.573.36 crore is still lying unused.

The Union government has also increased the budget allocation for 2020-21 from Rs. 994 crore to Rs 1,610.76 crore and with the unused funds from the previous years the state has total fund availability of Rs.2,760 crore from the central government’s share.

The 15th Finance Commission Grant to PRIs has allocated Rs 4,412 crore to the state out of which 50% has to be spent on water supply and sanitation.

Villages should be an active part of the scheme

The minister stressed that a Village Action Plan must be formed for every village so that the problems of every village can be heard. He also said that the existing water supply could also be modified in certain areas. This could help in providing tap connections to over 1 Crore Households in over 21,600 villages.

He also said that December 2020 was the deadline to provide tapped water connections to areas affected by Arsenic/Flouride with large SC/ST population, aspirational districts and villages under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana will be given priority under this scheme.

The Union government has also displayed concern about implementing this scheme in Tripura but the state has recently come up with a plan where they claimed they could implement the scheme completely by 2023.

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