Maharashtra misses 100% tap water connection target in western zone
Maharashtra has failed to meet the deadline for 100% tap water connection in rural areas under the Jal Jeevan Mission, with only 79.48% coverage achieved. Several states and union territories have already achieved the 100% target. The mission aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water through tap connections to all rural households by 2024. Gujarat has surpassed Maharashtra due to its pre-existing water supply infrastructure and higher fund allocation. Delays in policymaking and the impact of Covid-19 have also affected Maharashtra's progress.
Maharashtra has failed to meet the deadline of 100 per cent tap water connection in rural areas under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), as per the recent observation released by the Jal Shakti ministry
In the western zone, Gujarat and Goa have achieved the target, and Maharashtra managed to cover 79.48% tap water connection in rural areas.
The Jal Jeevan Mission, launched by the Jal Shakti ministry in 2019, aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water through tap connections to all households in rural India by 2024. The programme also implements source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through greywater management, water conservation, and rainwater harvesting.
The ministry regularly reviews the project and its latest observation was released in September.
As per the observation data, as of date, six states — Goa, Telangana, Haryana, Gujarat, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh —, and three Union territories — Puducherry, Diu and Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Andaman and Nicobar islands — have achieved 100% target.
In Maharashtra, of 40,327 villages, only 16,418 received 100% tap water connectivity, while work is on to cover another 23,000, and the project is yet to begin in 541 villages.
As per the data, in Pune, 75 per cent of work has been completed till September. Of 1,845 villages in the district, while only 303 have achieved the target of 100 per cent tap water connectivity, work is in progress in over 1,500 and 22 villages have remained untouched till date. The district has achieved 48 per cent target set for September.
On the progress of the mission in Pune district, Prakash Khatal, executive engineer, water supply division, Pune Zilla Parishad, said, “The zilla parishad is responsible for implementing JJM in rural areas. Manpower shortage, village-level disputes, and policy decisions are affecting the work of the mission. We are taking steps to complete 80-90 per cent work by the March 2024 deadline.”
Khatal said that Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP), another implementation authority, is also implementing around 168 schemes, including providing tap water connection at 500 villages in the district.
Gujarat surpasses Maharashtra
Gujarat had set up an advanced water supply infrastructure before the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) was launched, with its fund allocation more as compared to Maharashtra. Hence, while Maharashtra had to build infrastructure when the mission was launched in the country, Gujarat implemented and met the target. Covid and delays in policymaking also hampered the mission progress in Maharashtra, said an official from Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran on condition of anonymity.
Revolutionary changes and fund allocation
According to water supply experts, the national drinking water scheme implemented earlier to provide tap water supply faced issues related to fund, manpower and policy decisions. With the introduction of JJM, the state has observed revolutionary changes. The mission has allocated funds to set up water supply infrastructure and provide manpower.