New Delhi: As many as 11.49 crore households now have tap water connections and over 1.53 lakh villages have potable water supply as the government doubles down on its efforts to make drinking water available to all, according to latest official data.
The data as of March 21 showed massive jumps in piped water supply to schools, anganwadi centres and aspirational districts after the government allocated Rs 70,000 crore for the purpose in the current financial year ending March 31, (2022-23). This was 12 times more than the Rs 5,500 crore allotted in 2018-19.
The statistics came on a day that is marked as World Water Day with the UN World Water Development Report 2023 saying 26 per cent of the world’s population do not have access to safe drinking water and 46 per cent lack access to basic sanitation.
The government is implementing various schemes including Jal Jeevan Mission, Atal Bhujal Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Namami Gange and National Aquifer Mapping and Managing programme for water conservation and for raising the level of ground water.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission that targets to make provision of potable tap water supply to every rural household at the service level of 55 litre per capita per day by 2024, over 11.49 crore households have been provided tap water connections and over 1.53 villages have become Har Ghar Jal as of March 21, according to the data.
Piped water supply to anganwadi centres has increased 37 times to 9.34 lakh in less than three years. Similarly, piped water supply to schools has jumped 18 times to 9.02 lakh, and six times to aspirational districts.
Atal Bhujal Yojana, with an outlay of Rs 6,000 crore, is being implemented in 8,220 water-stressed gram panchayats in 80 districts of seven states of Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for a period of 5 years for sustainable groundwater management.
Under Namami Gange – the interventions for cleaning and rejuvenation of river Ganga, a total of 409 projects have been taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 32,912.40 crore, of which 232 projects such as sewage treatment projects have been completed and made operational.
The government launched Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) on October 2, 2014 to make the rural areas open defecation free (ODF). Under this, over 11 crore individual household latrines (IHHLs) have been built across all States/UTs, over 2.23 lakh community sanitary complexes (CSCs) constructed and all villages, gram panchayats, and districts in the country have already declared themselves ODF.
As much as 24.57 lakh sq km areas has been covered under National Aquifer Mapping and Management programme (NAQUIM) that calls for mapping of aquifers (water bearing formations), their characterisation and development of aquifer management plans to facilitate sustainable management of groundwater.
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While a National Hydrology Project (NHP) is being implemented with the support of the World Bank, the government has formulated a National Perspective Plan (NPP) of interlinking of rivers for transferring water from surplus basins to deficit basins/areas in 1980.
Also, the master plan for artificial recharge to groundwater-2020 has been prepared in consultation with states and Union territories indicating various structures for the different terrain conditions of the country.
The National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) has covered polluted stretches on 36 rivers in 80 towns spread over 19 states in the country, the data showed.
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