Meghalaya presents annual action plan under Jal Jeevan Mission, State plans 100% saturation

New Delhi, April 27: Annual Action Plan meeting on planning and implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in Meghalaya was held via video conferencing, wherein State Government officials presented the plan to achieve ‘Har Ghar Jal’ to the committee of Department of Drinking Water and  Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.

The meeting was  chaired by Secretary with members from different Central Ministries and  Departments and NITI Aayog. Jal Jeevan Mission is a flagship program of the Government of India to provide household tap water connection to every rural household of the country by 2024.

Meghalaya State has 5.89 lakh rural households, out of which tap connections are provided to 93 thousand (16%) rural households. The State has provided 87 thousand tap connections on 2020-21.

The State plans to achieve the target of ‘Har Ghar Jal’ by December,2022.In 2020-21, Meghalaya was amongst the seven States which received performance incentive grant under the JJM. The other six States were Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim, Gujarat, Manipur and Himachal Pradesh.

Under JJM, during 2021-2022, Meghalaya State is likely to get about Rs 350 Crore Central funds. The State was urged to well utilize various funds available through the convergence of different programmes like MGNREGS, JJM, SBM (G), 15th FC Grants to PRIs, District Mineral Development Fund, CAMPA, CSR Fund, Local Area Development Fund, etc.

At village level and a Village Action Plan (VAP) for every village should be devised by dovetailing all these resources for long-term drinking water security. The committee advised the State to focus on the planning at village level and formation of Village Water & Sanitation Committees (VWSCs) to play key role in drinking water supply in villages.

It was advised to the State to get NABL accreditation/ recognition of all 33 water testing labs immediately and testing of all 100% drinking water sources as per JJM guidelines. Under Jal Jeevan Mission, priority is being given on water quality surveillance through active participation of frontline functionaries as well as involving the local community.

Five persons especially women are being trained in every village to use the Field Test Kits to test the quality of water. Besides, an effective strategy to inform, educate and communicate the people has to be devised by the State to instil behavioural change & community mobilisation for various aspects of water supply and water conservation.

As the financial year, 2021-22 begins, the rigorous joint review exercise to finalize the Annual Action Plans (AAPs) has begun from 9th April. The committee carries out scrutiny of the proposed Annual Action Plan (AAP) prepared by States/ UTs before finalizing the same.

Thereafter, funds are released throughout the year and regular field visits, review meetings are held to ensure implementation of the Annual Action Plan to achieve the goal of Jal Jeevan Mission. Further, States and  UTs also have the opportunity to receive performance incentive provided they have good physical and financial progress, the functionality of PWS schemes and the capacity to utilize the fund.

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