National Jal Jeevan Mission team visits West Bengal to provide technical assistance and support the State to achieve the goal of ‘Har Ghar Jal’ by 2023-24
A team of 8 members from National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) is on a 4-day visit to West Bengal from 5 to 8 January, 2021 to provide technical assistance to the State for realizing the goal of ‘Har Ghar Jal’ under the Jal Jeevan Mission, a flagship programme being implemented by the Union Government in partnership with States. The visit also aims to identify the issues and challenges being faced by the programme implementers in the State and to document the good practices as well.
The team is visiting Purba Mednipur, Paschim Mednipur, Nadia, Murshidabad, Birbhum, Bardaman, Bankura and Paschim Bardhaman districts of the State during these 4 days. The members of NJJM are interacting with the field level officials involved in the implementation of water supply schemes as well as Gram Pradhans, members of Gram Panchayats, members of Village Water and Sanitation Committees/ Paani Samiti and the beneficiaries. The team is also holding meetings with the Chairperson of District Water & Sanitation Mission/ District Collector to brief them about the progress of work in their area and seek their intervention for speedy implementation of the programme.
West Bengal is planning 100% coverage by 2024 to accomplish the ambitious target of providing tap connection to every rural household of the State. And, for achieving this time-bound goal under JJM, Government of India is committed to provide all assistance to the State and thus working in tandem with the State Government. Earlier in the last month, a 4 member team had visited the State to provide technical assistance thereby expediting the pace of implementation in the State.
Out of 1.63 Crore rural households, the State of West Bengal has a coverage of 7.61 lakh households and the State is committed to provide tap connections to all households in the State by 2023-24. The works under JJM is in full swing in the State and visit of NJJM team will provide impetus to the implementation of programme in the State. During 2020-21, the State has an assured availability of Rs. 2,760.76 Crore of Central share funds including opening balance of Rs. 1,146.58 Crore, while after including the States’ share, West Bengal has a total availability of Rs. 5,770 Crore under JJM to provide household tap connections. Further, additional funds too can be provided to the State based on the progress of implementation in form of performance incentive under JJM.
West Bengal has Rs 4,412 Crore as 15th Finance Commission Grants to Panchayati Raj Institutions, 50% of which will mandatorily be spent on water and sanitation. There is need for convergence planning to be done by the State under various programmes like MGNREGS, JJM, SBM (G), 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs, District Mineral Development Fund, CAMPA, CSR Fund, Local Area Development Fund, etc. at village level and Village Action Plan (VAP) of every village is to be prepared for 5 years co-terminus with the 15th Finance Commission by dovetailing all such funds for carrying out water conservation activities to strengthen water source leading to drinking water security.
Under the life altering Jal Jeevan Mission, every rural household in the country will be provided with a Functional Household Tap Connection for the supply of potable water in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis. Following the true spirit of cooperative federalism, State Governments are implementing this flagship programme to realize the objectives of the Mission to enhance ‘ease of living’ of people in rural areas as well as reduce the ‘drudgery’ of women, especially girls. This life-changing Mission focuses on the key principles of ‘equity and inclusiveness’. With a departure from earlier programmes, this mission stresses on service delivery, rather than infrastructure creation.-PIB