Union Minister for Jal Shakti,Gajendra Singh Shekhawat,chaired aConference of State Ministers on Jal Jeevan Mission in New Delhi today. State Ministers in-charge of Drinking Water from 17 States; and Principal Secretaries/Secretaries attended theconference. The objective of the Conference was to discuss the implementation of the newly announced Jal Jeevan Mission,to provide individual household water tap connection to everyrural household in the country by 2024.The Jal Shakti Minister referred to the announcement made by the Prime Minister during his Independence Day speech on 15th August 2019, wherein he announced the Government’s renewed efforts to provide water supply to every household by 2024.He shared that the Mission would fulfill the aspiration of the people in extending services as it had with housing, toilets, electricity, cooking gas, financial inclusion, social security/ pension, health care and roads etc.He further highlighted that India has 16% of world population, but only 4% of its fresh water resources.
Depleting ground water level, over exploitation and deteriorating water quality, climate change, etc. are major challengesto provide potable drinking water. The Jal Jeevan Mission is set to be based on various water conservation efforts like point recharge, de-silting of minor irrigation tanks, use of grey water for agriculture and source sustainability. Citing successful models from across the country, he encouraged all states to plan for recharge and reuse of grey water generated from households for agriculture and irrigation purpose.He emphasized the need for convergence of various funds available under MGNREGS, MPLAD, MLALAD, Finance Commission Grants, etc. to implement the source sustainability measures. He appealed to all states to generate maximum community participation in the form of ‘jan andolan’ to achieve the target of functional household tap connection by 2024.The Minister of State, Ministry of Jal Shakti,Shri Rattan Lal Katariahighlighted that drinking water is a basic requirement and water supply has been placed at the center of the development agenda for the Government. He requested all states to empower the grassroots governance institutions to take charge of the Mission activities in their villages.Various State Ministers discussed State specific issues and were assured of Central Government assistance for smooth implementation of the Mission.