The Real Task At Hand Is To Build Community Ownership To Ensure Long-Term Sustainability Of Water Supply Service Delivery: Mr Shekhawat

Jaipur, 8th April, Union Minister, Jal Shakti Mr Gajendra Singh Shekhawat chaired the regional conference of States/ UTs on Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) today in Jaipur with 11 implementing States/ UTs of Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttarakhand, D&D and D&NH, J&K and Ladakh. While Goa, and D&D and DNH have already become ‘Har Ghar Jal’, Punjab is at 99% and Himachal Pradesh at 93%, and the remaining are at different stages of implementation.

 The Union Minister delivered an inspiring and motivating inaugural address, drawing from his personal experiences as a native of the water-stressed Jodhpur district in Rajasthan, of watching the drudgery of scores of women who spend an eternity fetching water, carrying heavy loads for their families. He urged the delegates to see JJM as a one-time opportunity to address this concern, and that the pace of implementation should match the challenge being faced, and emphasized that although infrastructure has its own challenges, the real task at hand is to build community ownership to ensure long-term sustainability of water supply service delivery in terms of adequate quantity, prescribed quality and regularity. And, to instill a sense of ownership, the local community via GP/ VWSC/ Pani Samiti is to be engaged right from the planning stage and not after the completion of schemes.

He reminded that, “When Jal Jeevan Mission was launched by the Prime Minister on 15th August 2019, only 16.75% of rural households had access to tap water connections. Despite disruptions caused by the pandemic in the last 2½ years, we have managed to provide more than 6.16 Crore tap water connections and about 9.40 Crore (49%) of households in the villages are benefitting from clean drinking water”.

He further added, “The nation takes pride by saying that all districts in India declared themselves open defecation free (ODF) on 2nd October 2019, much ahead of the target deadline set under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG – 6). Sujlam 2.0 campaign has been launched with the objective to manage greywater through people’s participation. Under the campaign, we plan to mobilize communities, institutions like panchayats, schools, anganwadi to undertake greywater management. Greywater can be best managed where it is generated and turns into a major management and infrastructure challenge, if it is allowed to accumulate and stagnate. Our PRIs would work with people to ensure that greywater is managed at the most appropriate local level through construction of household and community soakpits.”

Dr. Mahesh Joshi, Minister of Ground Water, Government of Rajasthan was present for the conference representing the host State, and was attended Shri Arjun Singh Chauhan, Minister of Rural Development and Shri Brijeshkumar Merja, MoS Rural Development from Gujarat. From Haryana Dr. Banwari Lal, Minister of Cooperation & Welfare of SCBCs and Shri Devendra Singh Babli, Minister of Development and Panchayat; from Maharashtra, Shri Gulabrao Patil, Minister of Water Supply and Sanitation, and Shri Sanjay Bansode, MoS for Environment & Climate Change, Water Supply and Sanitation, Public Works, Employment Guarantee, Parliamentary Affairs; and from Punjab, Shri Brahm Shankar Sharma, Minister for Revenue and Water Resources along with senior officers from the participating States/ UTs. All States’ Ministers actively participated in the deliberation and elaborated on their plan to become ‘Har Ghar Jal’ as well as measures for long-term sustainability of water supply schemes.


Secretary, DDWS, Smt. Vini Mahajan, in her opening remarks reiterated the importance of time-bound completion duly ensuring ‘no one is left out’ from getting the service. She emphasized the JJM motto of ‘building partnerships, working together’ mentioning ways of collaboration between different stakeholders, viz. local community, ISAs, SHGs, NGOs/ VOs/ CSOs, State/ National/ International organizations. Regarding the pace of work, she urged the States to expedite tendering process, engage human resources to have adequate staff and support institutions such as SPMUs/ DPMUs, Third Party Inspection Agencies (TPIAs) to check quality of materials and work, etc. so that the planning/ review time becomes more efficient. Given that most of the participating States are water-stressed, she advocated for convergence between departments to promote collective work towards strengthening water source sustainability and finally, requested the States to consider promoting water user charges from households as a step towards valuing water.


Kickstarting the deliberations, Shri Arun Baroka, Addl. Secretary & Mission Director, DDWS made a detailed presentation giving JJM’s overall status, and state-wise status, issues & challenges around planning for works, ‘Har Ghar Jal’ certification, pace of provision of tap connections, engagement of TPIAs/ DPMUs, VWSCs/ VAPs, remedial action taken to address contaminated samples, FTK testing, coverage in schools/ AWCs and a summary of observations from various field visits by multi-disciplinary NJJM teams. Respective State Ministers’ and senior officers shared the updates and challenges in response and discussed the way forward. Similar conversations were observed in the subsequent part on the implementation of SBM(G) Phase-II.


Reaffirming its commitment towards public health and well-being of the people living in rural areas, in the Union Budget 2022, fund allocation for JJM has increased from Rs. 45,000 Crore in 2021-22 to Rs. 60,000 Crore in 2022-23.  For SBM(G), Rs. 7,192 Crore has been allocated in the budget for the year 2022-23.

For the year 2022-23 under JJM, Rs 32,609 Crore has been tentatively allocated by the Centre for these 8 States and 2 UTs. (Goa – Rs 48 Crore, Gujarat – Rs 3,452 Crore, Haryana – Rs 1,099 Crore, Himachal Pradesh – Rs 1,280 Crore, Maharashtra – Rs 7,415 Crore, Punjab – Rs 1,693 Crore, Rajasthan – Rs 11,752 Crore, Uttarakhand – Rs 1,502 Crore, Jammu & Kashmir – Rs 2,875 Crore and Ladakh – Rs 1,493 Crore).   Under SBM(G), Rs 2167 Crore has been tentatively allocated for the said States. (Goa – Rs 29 Crore, Gujarat – Rs 206 Crore, Haryana – Rs 224 Crore, Himachal Pradesh – Rs 152 Crore, Maharashtra – Rs 786 Crore, Punjab – Rs 82 Crore, Rajasthan – Rs 365 Crore, Uttarakhand – Rs 65 Crore, D&NH – Rs 5 Crore, Jammu & Kashmir – Rs 243 Crore and Ladakh – Rs 11 Crore). 

In addition, under 15th Finance Commission a total of Rs. 27,908 Crore is allocated for Rural Local Bodies/ Panchayati Raj Institutions (RLBs/ PRIs) for the year 2022-23. There is an assured allocation of Rs. 1.42 lakh Crore for next five-years i.e. upto 2025-26. For the participating States, Rs. 7,632 Crore is allocated as a tied grant to carry out water and sanitation related activities for the year 2022-23.

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SBM(G) Phase-II was approved in February, 2020 with a total outlay of Rs 1,40,881 Crore to focus on sustainability of ODF status and Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM). It is a novel model of convergence between different verticals of financing under various Central and State governments. Apart from budgetary allocations by Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) and corresponding State share, remaining funds are being dovetailed from 15th Finance Commission tied-grants to Rural Local Bodies, MGNREGS, CSR funds and revenue generation models, etc., particularly for Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM).

Phase II of SBM(G) has seen a solid start with nearly 69 lakh household benefitting from Individual Household Latrines (IHHL). Over 1.28 lakh Community toilets were built and more than 56,000 villages declared themselves ODF Plus in the country. Over 63,000 villages have already been covered with solid waste management (SWM) arrangements and over 39,000 villages have achieved liquid waste management (LWM) arrangements.  In the participating States, number of IHHLs and Community Sanitary Complexes (CSCs) constructed during SBM-G Phase II is over 14 lakhs and over 22,000 respectively and over 12,000 villages were declared as ODF Plus.

Post lunch, subject matter experts and senior government officials held technical sessions on quality of works, pace of implementation, software activities such as training/ skilling/ capacity building programmes, water quality monitoring and surveillance, use of technology, source sustainability and greywater management. Experts from development sector shared their learnings with the officials present. Thereafter, breakout sessions were held with States/ UTs to discuss State specific issues and challenges.