Mizoram plans to provide tap water connection to nearly 31,963 households by end 2020 and achieve 100 per cent coverage for all rural households by 2022-23, state officials said at a mid-term review of ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ across states and Union Territories (UTs) on Sunday.
The state has nearly 1.27 lakh rural households of which 1.02 lakh do not have tap connections.
Presenting, through video-conferencing, the status of planning and implementation of the JJM, Mizoram officials also highlighted the need for analysing the existing piped water supply (PWS) schemes in villages where a single connection has not been provided, even as the Central government stressed on universal coverage of aspirational districts, Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST)-dominated villages and villages under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).
The Jal Shakti Ministry has been working with the states and UTs to implement JJM to improve the lives of rural people, especially women and girls, and reduce their drudgery.
The Union government provides funds based on the output in terms of providing functional household tap connections and the utilisation of available Central and state shares, the Jal Shakti Ministry said in a statement.
As JJM is a decentralised, demand-driven and community-managed programme, the local village community/Gram Panchayats or user groups have to play a key role in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of water supply systems in villages to ensure long-term sustainability.
Mizoram was urged to undertake ‘Information Education and Communication’ campaign with community mobilisation in all villages making JJM a people’s movement.
“Women self-help groups and voluntary organisations are to be engaged to mobilise the rural community for creation of in-village water supply infrastructure as well as for their operation and maintenance,” the Jal Shakti Ministry added.
The Centre has allocated Rs 79.3 crore to Mizoram under JJM for 2020-2021, and asked it to speed up the utilisation of the available funds to avoid losing the Central grants.
Nearly 50 per cent of the 15th Finance Commission Grants to Panchayati Raj Institutions have to be mandatorily spent on water and sanitation. Mizoram has been allocated Rs 93 crore as Finance Commission Grants in 2020-21.
Besides, the state should also utilise their available funds well through convergence of various programmes like the MGNREGS, JJM, Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), District Mineral Development fund, CAMPA, CSR fund, Local Area Development fund, etc. for holistic planning at village level to ensure judicious use of funds.
The state was also urged to ensure piped water supply to all the Anganwadi centres, ‘ashramshalas’ and schools as part of the special 100-day campaign launched on October 2, by the Centre so that potable water is available at these institutions for drinking, handwashing, use in toilets and cooking mid-day meals.
This campaign offers an opportunity to provide safe water in public institutions so that children have access to safe water to improve their health and well-being.