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Jal Jeevan Mission hits hurdles in Kerala: Govt

By, New Delhi
Feb 06, 2024 08:48 AM IST

Kerela minister says the state government has released all the instalments of its share towards the project as we consider it to be an important one

The progress of the Jal Jeevan Mission, a flagship central government programme to provide every rural household in the country with a tap-water connection, has slowed in Kerala due to implementation hurdles, prompting the Centre to hold off funds during 2023-24, Parliament was told on Monday.

The Jal Jeevan Mission, launched in August 2019, aims to connect each of India’s 192.6 million rural households with tap-water connections by 2024-end (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The Jal Jeevan Mission, launched in August 2019, aims to connect each of India’s 192.6 million rural households with tap-water connections by 2024-end (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

As on January 31, 2024, the state has connected 3.68 million rural households, or 52.09% of the total, lower than the national average of 73%, minister of state for Jal Shakti, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

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The Jal Jeevan Mission, launched in August 2019, aims to connect each of India’s 192.6 million rural households with tap-water connections by 2024-end. Under the mission, a family is provided 55 litres of clean water per day per person.

Under the programme, fund-sharing pattern between the Centre and states is in a 50:50 ratio for all states except for northeastern and hill states, where it is in 90:10. In the case of Kerala, the Centre has withheld funds for fiscal year 2023-24 because the state has not released its share of money for the programme, according to the reply.

“Due to non-release of the matching state share against the central funds released to the state government of Kerala under JJM, the state has not been able to draw further central funds during FY 2023-24,” the reply stated.

Implementation, planning, execution and monitoring of all work related to the JJM are in the domain of state governments, since water is a state subject under the Constitution’s division of responsibilities and JJM is a centrally sponsored scheme.

Kerela minister for water resources, Roshy Augustine, said: “The state government has released all the instalments of its share towards the project as we consider it to be an important one. There was only a slight delay with regard to the release of the most recent instalment.”

In review meetings held between the Centre and the state, the Kerala government told the Jal Shakti ministry that “one of the main reasons for delay in the award of works for JJM is difficulties in land acquisition for the various components of the new water supply schemes”, the reply in Lok Sabha said.

The Kerala government has also informed that clearances from forest, National Highways Authority of India, railways, ministry of road transport and highways were pending “with respect to the drinking water project”, the reply stated. This had also “affected the implementation of JJM in the state”.

At the start of Jal Jeevan Mission, 30.23 million rural households in the country were “reported” to have tap water connection, according to a baseline survey. As on January 31, 2024, of the 192.6 million rural households in the country, nearly 140.21 million rural households are reported to have tap water supply within their home complexes.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Zia Haq reports on public policy, economy and agriculture. Particularly interested in development economics and growth theories.

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