Guwahati: In what can be termed as a significant achievement in a short span of time, Assam now has 50 percent functional household tap connections (FHTCs) under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
Making the announcement while chairing a meeting for the orientation of newly recruited Class III and Class IV employees in the public health engineering department (PHED) in Guwahati on Thursday, Assam PHED minister Jayanta Malla Baruah expressed confidence to provide potable water to each and every household by the year 2024.
“A total number of 34,01,097 households out of 67, 95,311 households in Assam now have access to potable drinking water,” the minister said, adding “JJM is relentlessly working to complete its target in Assam.”
“Assam had struggled with the progress of FHTCs initially. However, in the last couple of years, the state has been able to cope up with the expected progress,” the he said.
The minister also claimed that the state has shown considerable progress in setting benchmarks like forming village water and sanitation committees, training various stakeholders and villages where human resources are identified and skilled for operations and maintenance, etc.
Earlier in the day, taking to his Twitter, Baruah expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Modi, stating that Modi has successfully transformed JJM into a ‘Jan Andolan’ for water in the country and also thanked Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for their constant guidance and support throughout the implementation phase.
It is worth mentioning that since independence, households of Assam had only 1.64 percent tap water connections. But in the last few years, the proportion skyrocketed to 50.05 percent after prime minister Modi initiated the Jal Jeevan Mission in August 2019.
Interacting with the the newly recruited 239 Class III and Class IV employees of the PHE department during the event, Baruah said that since the recruitment was carried out on the basis of merit, the newly recruited employees needed to work with utmost dedication towards achieving better results.
The meeting was also attended by the additional chief secretary, PHED, Syedain Abbasi; special secretary, PHED Diganta Kumar Baruah; chief engineer (water), PHED, Dibyajyoti Duwarah; chief engineer (sanitation), PHED, B.M. Roy and other officials of PHED.
Notably, a month back the progress of centrally-sponsored schemes such as the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBMG) in the North-eastern states was reviewed by Union minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat during a meeting here.
Apart from the status of JJM in the northeastern states, aspects such as the quality of implementation, operation and maintenance, schemes handed over to the panchayats, et al, were discussed during the meeting.
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Issues under the ambit of SBMG such as the status of ODF (open defecation free) plus in villages and waste management in villages among others were also discussed.
Reviewing the progress of the schemes, the Union minister urged the states to meet the targets at the earliest.
“The north-eastern states have made remarkable development in respect of JJM. A state like Assam which started with just one percent development is now touching 50 percent progress under JJM,” Shekhawat said.
He further said he expected the northeastern states to achieve 100 percent development under JJM by the end of 2024.
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