[Answered] Discuss the challenges faced in implementing the Jal Jeevan Mission across diverse terrains and geographical regions in India. How have these challenges been addressed?

Introduction: Describe Jal Jeevan Mission.

Body: Address challenges & measures associated with the scheme.

Conclusion: Way forward.

Jal Jeevan Mission was launched in 2019 to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India. The goal of the mission is to have ‘Har Ghar Jal’- every house in the village is to be provided with a Functional tap connection. According to the latest data the Jal Jeevan Mission has already provided tap water to 73% of rural households. This means that more than 14 crore rural households have tap connections compared to only 3.23 crore in August 2019.

Challenges in implementing the mission

  • Inadequate infrastructure: One of the main issues is the rural areas’ poor water supply infrastructure. The pipelines, storage tanks, and treatment facilities that are required are absent from many villages.
  • Bad water quality: States with contaminated water, such as Bengal and Kerala, make it difficult to guarantee that people have access to clean drinking water. The long-term sustainability of water sources may be threatened by contamination, over-extraction, and climate change.
  • Geographical Diversity: The varied topography and topography of India’s rural areas can pose difficulties for the implementation of consistent water supply solutions. For example, Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh depends on lakes and ponds for irrigation, but the area’s rocky subsurface means that there aren’t many permanent groundwater sources, which makes the plan poorly executed.
  • COVID Pandemic: The pandemic caused a slowdown in the scheme’s progress, which in turn caused delays in the availability of construction resources and other essential materials like pipes.

Measures to address these challenges

  • Transparency: The Jal Jeevan Mission has a dashboard that gives real-time updates, progress reports, and so on, ensuring transparency and efficiency in water resource management. It also ensures continuous monitoring and surveillance of water quality parameters through advanced technologies.
  • Accountability: The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation maintains a proactive Water Quality Management Information System. This helps detect contamination or deterioration in water quality, thereby enabling prompt corrective action and grievance redress.
  • Decentralized Planning: Recognizing the diversity, the mission emphasizes decentralized planning, allowing local communities to have a say in the design and implementation of water supply schemes. Over 5.29 lakh village water and sanitation committees/ Pani Samitis have been constituted under the Jal Jeevan Mission and 5.17 lakh village action plans have been developed.
  • Capacity Building: Training and capacity-building programs are conducted to enhance the skills of local communities and officials involved in the operation and maintenance of water supply infrastructure. Eg, The Nal Jal Mitra initiative, for instance, is a specialized program that equips villagers with a comprehensive set of skills so that they can carry out minor repairs and maintenance of the piped water supply scheme in their village.

Conclusion

The Jal Jeevan Mission aims to strengthen rural communities by recognizing that true development involves more than just infrastructure. It emphasizes empowering women in decision-making, skill development for youth, and creating local water enterprises as integral steps toward community enhancement.

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