Punjab presented its Jal Jeevan Mission Annual Action Plan and during the presentation, the State reiterated the commitment to achieve the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ target.
The State has reaffirmed its pledge to meet the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ deadline by 2022 as scheduled. Punjab has 34.73 lakh rural households, with 25.88 lakh (74.5%) having access to running water. In 2021-22, the state plans to install 8.87 lakh tap connections, ensuring that every rural household has access to water.
Punjab has 1,634 habitations that are contaminated with arsenic, fluoride, and other contaminants. The State has protected 558 of these and for the remaining habitations, the State will provide potable water in all of the quality-affected habitations.
The National Committee praised the state’s concerted efforts to ensure that all schools and Anganwadi centres have 100% tap connections. In the last year and a half, the Jal Jeevan Mission has given 9.09 lakh tap connections.
So far, 4 districts, 29 blocks, 5,715 panchayats, and 6,003 villages in Punjab have been declared ‘Har Ghar Jal’, which means every rural household has access to water through a tap.
Punjab has developed a well-equipped digital 24×7 call centre with an Interactive Voice Responsive System to ensure transparency and accountability. In December 2020, the analog grievance redress system was upgraded. The redressal rate was 97.76% last year.
The regular tracking of pending grievances is accomplished by sending SMS, e-mail, and phone updates to the Executive Engineer.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission, It was urged to involve the local village community, Gram Panchayats and or user groups in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of water supply systems in villages to ensure long-term sustainability thereby achieving drinking water security. The State was asked to start a campaign for water conservation.
To achieve this, PHE Department is facilitating to empower and engage with the community. Activities such as timely procurement and supply of field test kits to the community, identification of at least five women in each village for community involvement, training women on how to use the Field Test Kits, and documenting test result findings are all scheduled for this purpose.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission, water quality testing laboratories at district & state levels are opened for the general public to test the water at a nominal rate. Community is being encouraged for surveillance of water quality.
Punjab has conducted 19,179 chemical tests on water supplies and 21,846 chemical tests at distribution points. The state is ensuring that water testing laboratories are NABL accredited so that people can get their water tests done at a reasonable price.
What is Jal Jeevan Mission
the Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide safe and sufficient drinking water to all rural Indian households through individual household tap connections by 2024. Source sustainability initiatives, such as recharge and reuse water by efficient management, water storage, and rain water harvesting, would be mandatory elements of the programme.
The Jal Jeevan Mission will be focused on a community-based approach to water, with comprehensive information, education, and communication as a key component. JJM aims to create a Jan Andolan for water, making it a top priority for all.