Villages of Leh have been witnessing rapid development and achieving a new feat, 12 out of 60 villages of Leh have become Har Ghar Jal as every rural house in these remote villages are getting assured tap water supply.
Due to the tough terrains, much of the region remains snowbound where the winds are freezing and the cell phone connectivity is patchy. To get the proper water supply, running motor equipment and monitoring sensors requires power, most villages lacked electricity, which made delivery of functional piped water system unfeasible. To tackle the problem, engineers in Leh have built solar power units. Now, villages along the Line of Actual Control(LAC) along the India-China border are being covered on a priority, officials said.
Prioritising clean water supply:
Indians’ health depends on a growing network of piped drinking water. According to researchers Subitha Lakshminarayanan and Ramakrishnan Jayalakshmy of Puducherry’s Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research and Indira Gandhi Medical College, respectively, poor-quality water is the main cause of diseases like diarrhea, which is the country’s third leading cause of childhood mortality.
To improve the lives of people, Jal Jeevan Mission has been implemented with speed so that every household has the provision of an assured tap water supply by 2024. In the national effort to deliver piped water, several locations, such as Leh in the northern Union territory of Ladakh, have faced challenges due to its hard topography. Aside from that, the region is under increased military surveillance due to a simmering border conflict with China. Another is there was no proper road connectivity in one of these isolated villages, ferrying personnel and equipment to seek a sustainable water source and install the pipeline network was the most difficult to operate.
Out of 24,767 households, 5,425 households now have tapped water in Leh. The Union Budget had allotted ₹10,001 crore in 2019-20 under the national rural drinking water mission. In 2020-21, ₹11,500 crore was provided. This was increased in the Union budget of 2021-22 which allotted ₹50,000 crores for the mission.
Overall, experts suggest that maintaining the sustainability of water supply sources is a major problem for the programme. Villages connected to water sources in past attempts to offer drinking water supply have returned to “no-water” status after a few years due to water shortages. Maintaining sustainability will necessitate action on a variety of fronts like groundwater recharging, water conservation, and, most importantly, reducing the abuse of water in agriculture, which consumes 90% of the available supply due to inefficient cultivation.
The Jal Jeevan Mission is 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. The scheme was launched in 2019 with a total outlay of Rs 3.60 lakh Crore.