Jammu: The Union government, in its objective to give a push to Jal Jeevan Mission in Jammu and Kashmir, has allocated a whopping sum of Rs 9289.15 crore to the UT under Jal Jeevan Mission 2022-23, which is Rs.6412.71 crore more the previous year’s budget allocation.
“In 2021-22, the Centre had allocated Rs 2747 crore which was nearly 4 times more than the preceding year 2020-21. This year the government has allocated a staggering amount which is nearly more than double to its previous year budget. This substantial increase in JJM budgets every year is reflective of the concern and seriousness of the government towards materializing its commitment of providing tap water connections to every household and capacity building of Water Quality Management through testing, monitoring and surveillance”.
Jal Jeevan Mission has been envisioned to have drinking water supply in rural areas, adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular and long term basis at affordable service delivery charges leading to improvement in living standards of rural community.
The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir contemplates to become ‘HAR GHAR JAL’ Union Territory by the financial year 2022-23. Out of total 18.35 lakh rural households in the UT, 10.39 lakh (57%) households have tap water connections.
In a significant achievement, Srinagar and Ganderbal districts have achieved the target of having 100% households with tap water connections. Efforts are also being made to ensure tap water availability for drinking, cooking mid-day meals, washing hands and usage in toilets in all schools and Anganwadi centres. As on date, 22,421 schools (100%) and 23,926 (100%) Anganwadi centres in J&K have been provided with tap water supply.
Considering the importance of water testing for monitoring operation of water supply, verification of safety of drinking water and investigation of disease outbreaks, 2.50 lakh water quality tests have been planned to be conducted in 2022-23. Besides, accreditation of all 20 district water testing laboratories will be achieved and all sub-divisional laboratories will be registered during 2022-23 under National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). Also, 1,589 water supply schemes have been targeted to be completed during 2022-23.
Jal Jeevan Mission presents a life time opportunity to put in place a system which lasts for next 30-40 years and people living in villages continue to get assured tap water supply. In this regard, Gram Panchayats and its sub-committees including village water and sanitation committee or Pani Samitis would take over the responsibility for management, operation and maintenance of water supply system. The Mission is being implemented in a decentralized manner, following a bottom-up approach, wherein local village communities are being empowered to shoulder the key responsibility of planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of the in-village water supply system. This is in consonance with the 73rd amendment of the constitution devolving the power to local Self-Governments.
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) has been formulated with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet ko pani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘More crop per drop’ in a focused manner with end to end solution on source creation, distribution, management, field application and extension activities. Nearly, 43 ongoing minor irrigation schemes under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme – Prime Minister’s Krishi Sinchai Yojana (AIBP-PMKSY) will be physically completed during 2022-23. Besides, 28 thousand hectare of Irrigation Potential has been targeted to be created and stabilized during 2022-23.
Similarly, balance portion of work on Tawi Barrage costing Rs.73.34 crore is expected to be completed during 2022-23. The proposed gated barrage on Tawi is one of the three sub projects of the prestigious artificial lake project which was conceptualized to give a boost to regional tourism in Jammu by creating recreational activities like boating and water sports besides enhancing the overall aesthetic look of the city. The other two subprojects, viz Tawi river development project and beautification and creation of tourist facilities are to be executed by the housing and urban development department and tourism department respectively.
The work on Ujh Multi-Purpose Project (UMPP) is also expected to start during 2022-23 for which Detailed Project Report (DPR) stands redesigned. 196 MW Ujh Multipurpose Project (Hydropower, Irrigation and Drinking) is first of its kind in Jammu and Kashmir which envisages utilization of water resource potential of River Ujh, a tributary of River Ravi.
In addition, flood protection works costing Rs.27.91 crore for safeguarding the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) site at Vijaypur, Jammu, have also been targeted to be completed by 2022-23.
The Jal Jeevan Mission has been transforming the face of rural water supply across UT over the last two years. Through an integrated service delivery approach, the mission focused on sustainable practices with community-led and community-managed schemes, and source sustainability weaved into the water supply schemes. And the transformative budget of 2022-23 will allow for an unprecedented reach to the rural and backward regions of UT to strive and thrive.(GNS)