A one-day conference of Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) Ministers of North-Eastern States on Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) will be chaired by Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, on Thursday, September 16. The release by the Union Ministry stated that the conference would be held at Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati, and it will be attended by ministers in charge of the PHED from all the eight North-Eastern States along with senior officers from each State.
Various issues related to planning, implementation, and progress made so far will be discussed during the conference. Also, the way forward to facilitate tap water connections to all remaining households in the North-Eastern States will be considered. The conference is organised following all COVID-19 protocols and will be streamed live.
In partnership with States, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti, implemented the Jal Jeevan Mission, a flagship program of the Union Government aimed to make provision of a tap water connection to every rural household across the country by 2024. For northern states, the fund sharing pattern between Centre and State is 90:10.
Under the Jal Jeevan Mission, during the financial year 2021-22, Rs 9,262 crore has been allocated as a Central grant for the north-eastern States to accelerate its all-round development. The enhanced allocation and the release of funds at this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide tap water connections to rural homes in the north-eastern States are expected to boost the region’s economy.
In August, the Ministry of Jal Shakti informed that a key target of the Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission has been missed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Centre, the deadline for the programme has now been extended till March 31, 2022, citing “a special case” reason. The deadline extension was made as the government claimed that completing these missed priority aspects of the flagship scheme is vital.
J&K provides tap water
In a recent update, the Jal Jeevan Mission has successfully reached the targeted schools and Anganwadi centres in Jammu and Kashmir way ahead of the expected time. The Jammu and Kashmir administration has set a benchmark by achieving the target of providing running tap water to around all 22,422 schools and 23,926 Anganwadi centres in the area. This makes J&K the second Union Territory after Andaman and Nicobar Islands to provide tap water to all the schools.