In a major push to the ongoing Jal Jeevan Mission, the government has decided to rope in an independent agency for a nation-wide survey to monitor the implementation of its flagship scheme to provide potable drinking water to every household in all six lakh villages.
The survey ‘Jal Jeevan Survekshan 2023’ launched by Jal Shakti Ministry will assess the functionality of household tap-water connections in all villages, check if they are receiving 55 litres per capita per day (lpcd) of water on regular basis and whether the quality of water is of prescribed standard. It will also evaluate if the water source is sustainable in the long run. The survey will cover public institution buildings such as schools, anganwadi, gram panchayat, public health as well as wellness centers in villages in all 34 states and Union Territories.
Twice A Year Field Report
The ground survey will be carried out twice a year — once in the pre-monsoon season from April to June 2023 and second during the post-monsoon season from November 2023 to January 2024 (post monsoon) in randomly selected villages.
As reported by News18 earlier, the annual exercise will not just monitor quality of water being delivered but the frequency of availability, as well as the service delivery under the scheme, including promptness of repairs. It will also check the performance of water quality testing laboratories, availability of grievance redressal systems, and monitor percentage of households paying water user charges.
At present, the data collection is being done by the local water works department officials of each state. However, the government intends to award the work to a specialised agency starting next year. It has sought expression of interest (EOI) from agencies who have conducted such large-scale ground surveys before. The deadline for sending applications is December 31.
Ranking System For Villages
With this, the ministry is also looking to strengthen its current grading system for all villages covered by the Har Ghar Jal scheme. The idea is to encourage a healthy competition among states to complete the work on time. Starting October, it has been providing monthly ranking of villages, district and states on the quality of work and achievement of target. Each district and state is checked on the basis of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with geo-tagged documentation. The subsequent rankings have been made public to apprise citizens about their village and state on JJM implementation and people can work to improve their standing in the rankings.
The specialised agency will be required to engage with Gram Panchayats and local bodies to solicit their feedback for improving the programme further. A key agenda is also to seek recommendations for any course-correction for improvement in functionality of household tap water connections.
The government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had committed to providing potable tap water supply of minimum 55 litres per capita per day (lpcd) to every rural household by 2024. Of the total 19.3 crore households, as many as 10.5 crore (54.8 per cent) have already been provided with tap-water connections.
Till date, Goa has emerged as the only state with 100 per cent tap water connections for all its rural households, along with three Union Territories — Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. Three other states — Telangana, Gujarat and Haryana — have also declared to have fulfilled their targets, but are yet to be certified. Punjab (99.9 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (96 per cent), Bihar (95 per cent) and Manipur (74 per cent) are next in line.
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