Editorial Notes

[Editorial Notes] Replicating SBM model for Jal Jeevan Mission

Jal Jeevan Mission aimed at ensuring piped water supply for all households of India by 2024 has been announced by central government in 2019. The lessons learnt from the success of Swachh Bharat Mission can be utilized for implementation of this ambitious scheme.
By IASToppers
February 26, 2020

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Ingredients for the success of SBM
  • Results of the initiative
  • Jal Jeevan Mission
  • Details about JJM
  • Empowering rural local bodies
  • Conclusion

Replicating SBM model for Jal Jeevan Mission

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Introduction:

India participated in ministerial round table discussion on “Scaling Up Sanitation in Africa” held at Addis Ababa recently. Among other things the phenomenal success of Swachh Bharat Mission in tackling open defecation in just five years was acknowledged by the African countries.

Ingredients for the success of SBM:

1. Setting priorities:

  • The African countries unanimously agreed that they were not able to convince their finance ministries to invest heavily in sanitation like India has done since 2014.
  • The unspoken assumption was that they had not received political support from the highest level for scaling up sanitation in their countries.
  • However, in India the government continues to prioritize the water and sanitation sectors as key pillars of broader rural development.

2.  Leadership:

  • In India, the prime minister’s leadership in championing a hitherto neglected subject like sanitation has been unquestionably the key ingredient for success of SBM.
  • The government understood the importance of investing in sanitation and its far reaching heath, economic and environmental benefits.

3. Financial Support:

  • The efficient leadership and vision triggered the large investment on sanitation through public financing.
  • The central and state governments have invested in excess of one lakh crore on sanitation over the past five years.
  • A majority of these funds have gone towards incentivizing the poor and marginalized households to construct and use household toilets, bringing about behaviour change, and building capacities of field functionaries.
  • Investment in sanitation is actually a facilitator for broader economic, health and social gains.

4. Sustained efforts:

  • The government is committed to ensuring that this success is sustained.
  • On October 2, 2019, the prime minister, when commemorating the ODF declaration by all states, said that this is but a milestone and not the finish line, and that we must all ensure that people continue to use toilets and that no one is left behind.
  • This has been backed up by the finance minister in the budget for 2020-21, wherein she announced about Rs 10,000 crore for rural sanitation to focus on ODF sustainability, bio-degradable waste management, greywater management, sludge management and, critically, plastic waste management for all villages by 2024.

Results of the initiative:

  • The returns on these investments have been manifold, and their effects on the broader economy, markets and employment have been significant.
  • The UNICEF recently estimated that investments in sanitation in India are yielding a 400 % return with each rural household in an open-defecation-free village saving Rs 50,000 on account of avoided medical costs and time savings.
  • The Toilet Board Coalition has estimated that the sanitation infrastructure and services market in India will be worth over $60 billion by 2021.
  • It has created many new jobs, even in the most rural areas of the country, apart from reducing health and environmental costs and generating savings for households.
  • Many people engaged in the business of manufacturing toilet related hardware accessories have reported huge growth in sales during the SBM period.
  • They project a continued uptrend through retrofitting and upgrades.
  • This has been corroborated by another recent study by UNICEF in which they have estimated that SBM has resulted in creating over 75 lakh full time equivalent jobs over the past five years, giving the rural economy a major boost.
  • Over 10 crore toilets have been built in rural India and nearly 55 crore people have stopped defecating in the open, all in just five years. This has contributed in bringing down global open defecation by more than half.

Jal Jeevan Mission:

  • The next critical basic service and requirement is delivering piped water supply to Indian households.
  • On Independence day 2019, the prime minister announced the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
  • The goal of the scheme is to ensure piped water supply for all households of India by 2024 and with a commitment of Rs 3.6 lakh crore of central and state funds for the scheme.
  • In the Union budget for 2020-2021, the government has already allocated Rs 11,500 crore for JJM, with an additional Rs 12,000 crore being made available through extra budgetary resources.

Details about JJM:

  • Jal Jeevan Mission is a central government initiative under the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • It aims to ensure Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) for every household in India by 2024.
  • It also aims to create local infrastructure for rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household waste water for reuse in agriculture.
  • The flagship Central scheme at present stipulates the share in 50:50 ratios.
  • The Har Ghar Nal Se Jal programme, announced by Finance Minister recently, forms a crucial part of the Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • The Jal Jeevan Mission is based on a community approach to water as it includes information, education and communication as key components.
  • The Mission is based on various water conservation efforts like point recharge, desilting of minor irrigation tanks, use of greywater for agriculture and source sustainability.
  • The Mission will converge with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.

Empowering rural local bodies:

  • In addition, a huge impetus to the rural water supply and sanitation sector is the earmarking of 50 % of the Rs 60,750 crore grant for rural local bodies provided under the Fifteenth Finance Commission for drinking water and sanitation.
  • This will ensure that the gram panchayats and local communities have hearsay, and are responsible for the upkeep of their water and sanitation infrastructure, providing a boost to the sustainability of service delivery to people.
  • This approach will ensure that just like sanitation, provision of water supply and its upkeep will also become everyone’s business.

Conclusion:

With the success of Swachh Bharat Mission and lessons learnt from the scheme, India has huge experienceto lay out another massive scheme like Jal Jeevan Mission to facilitate household drinking needs and empower women. Keeping in mind the herculean task and the tight target, government should ascertain proper program implementation, management, monitoring and budgetary allotment.

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