Monday, February 26
JJM: Ladakh tops large UTs in tap water connections, tenth overall

JJM: Ladakh tops large UTs in tap water connections, tenth overall

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LEH: The union territory of Ladakh has topped the list of large union territories of the country in installation of tap water connections in the rural areas, in an astounding testimony of the hard work and determination of the administration to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual tap connections.

Among all States and UTs of India, Ladakh has secured an overall 10th position, the official government data has said.

With 90.12 per cent coverage, Ladakh stands at top among all the union territories of India in installation of tap water connections in the rural areas, the official data said.

Neighbouring union territory of Jammu and Kashmir stands at second spot among the Union Territories with 75.64 per cent coverage.

This does not include the union territories of Andaman and Nicobar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, and Puducherry, as they are smaller region with their collective area coming out to be only 15% of that of Ladakh.

“The three UTs, while have 100% coverage, are not significant as they are much smaller regions. Andaman and Nicobar has a total area of 8249 square km, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu has the total area of 603 square km, and Puducherry has an area of 483 square km. Ladakh, on the other hand, is spread over 59146 square km,” an official said

Even among all states and Union Territories, Ladakh stands at 10th place in the list.

Only nine states–Six of them–Goa, Haryana, Telangana, Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh-having 100 per cent coverage, followed by Mizoram (98.35 per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (97.83 per cent, and Bihar (96.42 per cent) have better coverage of tap water connections in their respective rural areas.

The centrally funded JJM is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections to all households in rural India. The Centre has set a target of supplying tap water to every village household in the country by 2024, for which the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ scheme is being implemented in partnership with states.

However, in case of Ladakh, it is more than a scheme in view of the extreme weather conditions and the consequent water scarcity.

Jal Jeevan Mission has tasted great success in Ladakh with the administration making it a “People’s Movement” wherein community participation was the key.

In line with Ladakh’s belief and long-standing history of community participation, the scheme has been implemented in the union territory smoothly, with administration making efforts to encourage community participation, changing the initial inhibitions of the people towards Jal Jeevan Mission.

The official data revealed that around 5.33 crore houses in rural areas of India have not been covered yet under the Centre’s ambitious mission to provide tap water connection to every house in every village of the country by 2024.

The situation is worst in Rajasthan, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

According to the data provided by the government, in the last four-and-a-half years, under the Jal Jeevan Mission-‘Har Ghar Jal’, tap water was supplied to 13,91,70,516 (13.91 crore) rural houses, while on 15 August 2019, the number of households with such tap water connections was only 3,23,62,838 (3.23 crore).

The total number of houses in rural areas of the country is 19,25,17,015 (19.25 crore), out of which tap water connections have been installed in 13,91,70,516 (13.91 crore) houses till 25 December 2023.

Till August 15, 2019, only 16.81 per cent of the villages in the country had tap water in their homes, the proportion of which has now increased to 72.29 per cent by December 25, 2023. But about 28 per cent of the houses in rural areas are still waiting for tap water, the reply to the RTI query showed.

Under the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ campaign, the status of tap connections in houses in rural areas in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and West Bengal is the worst. While 47.57 per cent houses in Jharkhand have tap connections, only 45.33 and 40.69 per cent houses have tap connections in Rajasthan and West Bengal, respectively.

A total of 10,68,07,678 (10.68 crore) houses have been provided tap connections in the last four-and-a-half years since the launch of the Jal Jeevan Mission, according to the data.

During the last five years, crores of rupees have been spent by the government to provide tap water connections in rural areas across the country.

The total amount spent on providing tap water connection was Rs 9,951 crore in 2019-20, Rs 10,916 crore in 2020-2021, Rs 40,010 crore in 2021-22, Rs 54,744 crore in 2022-23 and Rs 47,293 crore in 2023-24.

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