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Fifty per cent rural households now have access to tap water connections

Women and girls in these households are now free from the century-old drudgery of walking long distances in scorching heat, rain and snow in search of water.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to provide every rural home with safe drinking water, India has achieved the milestone of 50 per cent of the rural households having access to tap water connections.

Goa, Telangana, A&N Islands, D&N Haveli and Daman & Diu, Puducherry and Haryana have already achieved 100 per cent household connections. Punjab, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar have coverage of more than 90 per cent and are progressing fast towards attaining the status of ‘Har Ghar Jal’.

In a move to attain “Gram Swarajya”, the dream of Mahatma Gandhi, the Jal Jeevan Mission aims to empower the Panchayati Raj Institutions and communities by engaging them in water supply schemes from the very beginning.

Over 9.59 Crore rural households spread across States/ UTs are getting water within their premises. Women and girls in these households are now free from the century-old drudgery of walking long distances in scorching heat, rain and snow in search of water.

‘Har Ghar Jal’ is a flagship programme of the Union Government, implemented by Jal Jeevan Mission under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, in partnership with States/ UTs to ensure tap water connection in every rural household by 2024.

At the time of the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission in 2019, only 3.23 Crore households i.e. 17 per cent of the rural population had access to drinking water through taps. The burden of arrangement of water for daily household needs mostly fell on women and young girls.

There is sufficient evidence to suggest that school attendance among girls was significantly lower in summers when due to increased requirements for water, multiple trips were needed. After the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission and improvement in access to tap water connection within their premises, considerable improvement in this regard has been noticed. As of 27 May, 108 districts, 1,222 blocks, 71,667 Gram Panchayats and 1,51,171 villages have become “Har Ghar Jal”, wherein all rural households have been provided with drinking water through taps.

This year as the nation celebrates ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, special gram sabhas are being convened across the length and breadth of the country to discuss and deliberate on issues related to drinking water in a move to attain ‘WASH Prabudh Gaon’.