New Delhi: The Union Territory of Ladakh plans to provide tap water connections to 32,514 households in the current financial year and remaining 11,568 households by next year, as part of its target to cover all rural households by 2022.
This comes in the backdrop of India’s 38% rural population been covered under the marquee Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), with 21.4% rural households been provided with tap water connection since the scheme’s launch in 2019.
Also, the reorganization of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories has given the Centre direct control over Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. This, in turn, is expected to speed up approvals for infrastructure and development projects.
“Out of 44,082 rural households in the UT of Ladakh, only 3,760 households so far have been provided with tap connections. Ladakh plans to provide tap connections in 451 schools, 449 Anganwadi Centre, 13 Ashramshala, 191 Gram Panchayat building and 327 healthcare centres,” Jal Shakti ministry said in a statement on Friday.
The scheme aims to ensure assured tap water supply or ‘Har Ghar Jal’ to all rural households by 2024. Four crore households have been provided with tap water connections since the scheme’ announcement on 15 August 2019.
“Ladakh has planned to accomplish the ambitious target of providing tap connection to every rural household i.e. 100% coverage by 2022. Slow progress was made by the UT last year primarily due to Covid-19 pandemic lock down,” the statement said.
This comes in the backdrop of water supply getting a leg-up in the union budget presented in February, wherein an outlay of ₹2.87 trillion was announced for the launch of the Jal Jeevan Mission Urban. The aim is to supply water to 4,378 urban local bodies with 2.68 crore tap connections.
“In 2021-22, Rs. 50,000 Crore budgetary allocation has been made for Jal Jeevan Mission. In addition to this, there is also Rs. 26,940 Crore assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied grants to RLBs/ PRIs for water & sanitation, matching State share and externally aided projects. Thus, in 2021-22, more than Rs. 1 lakh crore is planned to be invested in the country on ensuring tap water supply to rural homes,” the statement said.
In July 2019, the government had formed a new ministry, Jal Sakti, to address all water issues in the country. The Jal Shakti ministry was formed by integrating it with other existing ministries, such as water resources and the ministry of drinking water and sanitation. The larger aim is to work with state governments to ensure ‘Har Ghar Jal’ to all rural households by 2024.