- What is Jal Jeevan Mission?
- What are the Pros of the mission?
- What are the issues with respect to the mission?
- What is the best way forward?
Ensuring Water Security
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- Recently the Prime Minister has recently released the operational guidelines of Jal Jeevan Mission which is the Central Government`s initiative to provide Functional Household Tap Connections to every rural household by 2024.
- Currently, 81.67 percent are yet to have household tap connections for water.
What is Jal Jeevan Mission?
- Government of India has restructured and subsumed the ongoing National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) into Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to provide Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household i.e., Har Ghar Nal Se Jal (HGNSJ) by 2024.
- Nodal ministry for the scheme is Jal Shakti Ministry.
The following kinds of works/ schemes are proposed to be taken up under JJM:
The Jal Jeevan Scheme will be implemented through institutional mechanism at four levels – national, state, district and gram panchayat or its sub committees.
Women will play a bigger role in this scheme and the paani samitis or the user group will decide about the user fee for the sustainability of the scheme.
What are the good points with respect to the mission?
- The government created the Ministry of Jal Shakti. It integrated the water resources management part and service delivery of drinking water and sanitation. This is the first time in the water sector where there has been institutional integration.
- This mission is complimentary to the Atal Bhujal Yojana which will ensure source sustainability.
- The implementation will help reach India reach the Sustainable Development Goal target well before 2030.
- It will also provide an opportunity to reorient our water systems to meet the challenges posed by climate change.
- Space technology, aquifer mapping, 3-D contour mapping and use of sensor technology will be part of the programme.
- All stakeholders were involved in developing the guidelines.
- Capacity building will be the core of the programme.
With Respect to Women and the Community:
- Women who have borne the brunt and drudgery of fetching water from long distances will now be able to take a lead in the programme.
- Paani samiti will be a statutory subcommittee of the gram panchayat. The paani samithis will have at least 50% representations by women and can go much more even upto 100%.
- Concept of user fee gives a signal that water is a precious commodity.
- Involvement of the community makes the mission a Jan Andolan.
What are the issues with respect to the mission?
What is the best way forward?
- Integrated water management by incorporating source sustainability practices into the programme like groundwater recharge, wetland conservation etc.
- We don’t have a policy on how different sectors draw water from fresh water sources and planning needs to happen here.
- Greater coordination is required among ministries like the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Ministry of Human Resources Development and among others.
- Also at all levels a great deal of coordination and if possible integration of instruments will be required.
- There are new concepts in the mission like digitalisation of greywater, planning etc. Capacity building of water managers at the state level is very important.
- Decentralised solutions to ensure water availability to marginalised people can also be considered.
The road ahead to raise the level of sanitation from 18% to 100% in five years is not easy and it is going to be an uphill task. But the panellists and government guidelines seem to suggest that by involving people and account for all variations, the implementation of the mission will yield positive results.