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Assam on track to become ‘Har Ghar Jal’ state by 2024

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The Secretary, Department of Drinking water and Sanitation (DDWS) Vini Mahajan today reviewed the progress of Jal Jeevan Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission with Chief Secretary of Assam, Jishnu Barua, Mahajan appreciated the progress made by Assam in providing tap water supply to rural homes during the review meeting on the implementation of the two key missions in the State. She said “the State of Assam is well on track to achieve the target of providing clean tap water supply to every home by 2024 and the Centre is providing full assistance to the State to achieve the goal.”

Mahajan in her opening remarks said, “Jal Jeevan Mission is a decentralized, demand-driven, community-managed water supply scheme which aims to improve the lives of rural people by providing clean tap water supply to every home. She appreciated the work carried out by the State in the past six months.”

Speaking on the implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission, Mahajan said, “While the districts have self-declared themselves Open Defecation Free, but this is not a one-time effort. Efforts under the programme are being made to bring about social and behaviour change for sustainability of the ODF status of villages at all times.” She also emphasized on urgent need to prioritize supply of tap water in all schools and anganwadi centres of the State.

At the announcement of Jal Jeevan Mission on 15th August, 2019, only 1.11 lakh (1.76%) households out of total 63.35 lakh households in the State had access to tap water supply. In about 28 months, 17.46 lakh households have been provided with clean tap water. In last six months alone, clean tap water supply has been provided to more than 8.5 lakh households.

Jishnu Barua, Chief Secretary, Assam while presenting the state performance said, “good progress has been made if we look at the point from where we started with just 1% tap water coverage in the biggest north-eastern state. We progressed well in the last six months. As the State started on a low base it took time to streamline the procedure for implementation of the programme. Now the remaining work will be carried out expeditiously.”

Working in line with ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas’, Jal Jeevan Mission’s motto is ‘no one is left out’ and it aims at universal access to potable tap water supply. At the start of the mission in 2019, out of a total of 19.20 Crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 Crore (17%) had tap water supply. Despite Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission has been implemented with speed and during the last 28 months, 5.59 Crore rural households have been provided with tap water supply. Presently, 8.83 Crore (45.88%) rural homes across the country have tap water supply. States of Goa, Telangana, Haryana and UTs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Puducherry, D&NH and D&D have ensured 100% household tap connection in rural areas. At present, every household in 90 districts and more than 1.31 lakh villages are receiving tap water supply in their homes.

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