Tap water connections were found to be working in 94 percent of the 87,123 households surveyed in the country, the government has told a parliamentary standing committee.

The government has launched Jal Jeevan Mission under which tap water connection would be provided to all rural households by 2024.

Recently, there were reports that though tap water connections have been given, many of them are not working.

In a parliamentary standing committee report tabled in Lok Sabha, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation said 83.5 percent, 61.3 percent and 87.2 percent tap water connections were found functional based on quantity, potability and regularity respectively.

The department said out of the 87,123 households surveyed across the country, 94 per cent tap water connections were found working.

It said, "The functionality assessment exercise for 2021-22 has been taken up and is in final stage."

"Under JJM, focus is on service delivery in terms of regular water supply to rural households in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality. Keeping this in view, a countrywide functionality assessment of piped water supply in villages has been taken up in 705 districts of all states/UTs covering 6,992 villages in 2020-21," the department told the parliamentary panel.

The Operational Guidelines for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission were firmed up in consultation with state governments and other stake holders working in water sector, after the mission's launch in August, 2019.

Actual implementation of Jal Jeevan on ground started with the release of Operational Guidelines.

On the issue of releasing of matching states shares, the department also apprised the Committee that at the beginning of current financial year, states were still to provide matching state share of Rs 4,649.64 crore.

However, as on date, except West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, all other states/UTs have been reported utilization of previous years shortfall in matching share, it said.

The government has been regularly monitoring the implementation of the programme with the states and they are being repeatedly requested to timely release and utilized matching share under JJM, the committee was told.

The department in a written submission further informed that as on February 9 last year, in 61 identified Japanese Encephalitis/Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (JE/AES) affected districts in five states, provision of tap water supply has increased from 8.02 lakh (2.64 per cent) to 123.07 lakh (40.43 per cent).

On the aspect of contamination of drinking water, the department said as reported by the states, 35,370 rural habitations spread over 210 districts in 16 states/UTs are affected with water quality issues / contamination.

According to the data shared by the department, 46347 villages were covered with solid waste management and 21734 villages were covered with liquid waste management.

"DDWS shared a social audit manual with the states detailing how social audit needs to be conducted. The workshop on social audit was also organized to provide an opportunity for all states to learn from their experience of states which have conducted social audit and augment community-led monitoring in SBM.

"Some states namely Manipur, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh have informed that social audit have been conducted in some villages in these states," the committee said.

The Committee further observed that as against the demand of Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation for allocation of an amount of Rs. 91,258 crore, only Rs 60,000 crore has been allocated for the year 2022-23.

Keeping in view that around 53.52 per cent of rural households still require Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) in different states/UTs, allocations under JJM for the year 2022-23 seems to be inadequate as the budgetary support provided is short by Rs. 31,258 crore against the initial demand.

The Committee urged the department to strive to utilize the allocated funds at the earliest so that they have sufficient justification to ask for additional funds at the revised estimate stage.