Jal Jeevan Mission: A mega leap in empowering rural communities

Meghalaya, Assam and Puducherry presented their Annual Action Plan for the implementing of the Jal Jeevan Mission.

April 30, 2021

JJM is a flagship program of the Government of India which aims to provide every rural household with tap water connections by 2024.

It looks to involve frontline functionaries and the local community in water quality surveillance.

Seven Indian states currently receive performance incentive grants based on their progress and incurred expenditure.

A committee of Ministry officials and NITI Aayog experts examines and approves the AAPs of States/UTs under the JJM.

The Annual Action Plan (AAP) meetings on the planning and implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission for Puducherry, Meghalaya and Assam, were held via video conferencing on the 27th (Meghalaya) and 29th (Assam and Puducherry) of April. Officials from the States and the UTs presented their plan to reach the goal of “Har Ghar Jal” (Drinking water in every household) to the Committee of the Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti which is chaired by a  Secretary with members from different Central Ministries/Departments and NITI Aayog. 

The AAP draws attention to the strengthening/augmentation of the sources of drinking water, water supply works to provide household tap connections, reuse and treatment of greywater, operation & maintenance, support activities such as the IEC plan, stakeholder training, community mobilization, surveillance and monitoring of the water quality, strengthening of water testing laboratories and their NABL accreditation, etc. The Committee approves the AAPs of States/UTs under the aegis of the Mission, following which they release funds throughout the year based on the progress and incurred expenditure.

Presently, Meghalaya and six other Indian states (Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim, Gujarat, Manipur and Himachal Pradesh) receive performance incentive grants under the JJM. Puducherry aims to reach 100% saturation of their AAP by the second quarter of 2021-22 while Assam has 256 ‘Har Ghar Jal’ villages, with 7,897 Schools and 1,582 Anganwadi centres having access to piped water supply and hopes to achieve 100% saturation by 2024.

The JJM extends priority to the active involvement of the frontline functionaries and the local community in water quality surveillance. In every village, 5 persons especially women receive training in the usage of Field Test Kits for examining the water quality. Additionally, the states and the UT have also drawn up strategies to inform, educate, communicate and mobilise rural communities with regard to effective water supply and conservation. As a result, the program empowers said communities by simplifying the lives of women and girls who otherwise travel long distances by foot to draw water for most rural households. By saving the time taken to fetch water, it allows them to focus on education, learning different vocations and upgrading their skills, which could consequently fetch them gainful employment.