The matter had come up for discussion during the Jal Shakti Ministry’s mid-term review of progress of implementation of Union Government’s flagship programme Jal Jeevan Mission with officials from Tamil Nadu, through video conferencing.
Tamil Nadu has planned to provide safe drinking water to the remaining 236 fluoride-affected habitations with a population of 1.18 lakh by December, this year.
“The state has 22.57 lakh households vulnerable to JE/AES, and only 4.07 lakh households have been provided with tap connection. The state was urged to pay undivided attention for universal coverage of aspirational districts; SC/ST dominated villages, villages under Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna (SAGY),” said the ministry in a statement.
What’s more? In 2020-21, Central government has allocated Rs 921.99 crore to Tamil Nadu under Jal Jeevan Mission and the state already has an unspent balance of Rs 264.09 crore.
The Centre has urged the state to speed up the implementation and utilise the available funds to avail the allocated funds so as to avoid losing the Central grants.
The Centre also requested Tamil Nadu officials to ensure all the Anganwadi centres, Ashramshalas and schools are provided piped water supply as part of the special 100-day campaign that has been launched on October 2 this year, so that potable water is available in these institutions for drinking, hand washing, for use in toilets and for cooking of mid-day meals.
As Jal Jeevan Mission is a decentralised and community-managed programme, the local village community or the Gram Panchayats have to play key roles in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of water supply systems in villages to ensure long-term sustainability.
The state was requested to make the Jal Jeevan Mission a people’s movement.
Women self-help groups and voluntary organisations were also urged to be engaged to mobilise the rural community for creation of in-village water supply infrastructure.
Tamil Nadu is planning 100 per cent tap water connections to all rural households by 2022-23.
The state has around 126.89 lakh rural households, out of which 98.96 lakh households have not been provided with tap water connection.