Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar:  The Centre has approved Rs 812 crores for implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission (Har Ghar Jal) in Odisha for the financial year. The allocation is a significant jump from last year’s allocation of Rs 297 Crore.

The fund was allocated after the State government presented its Annual Action Plan before the National Committee headed by Secretary of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti for consideration and approval for 2020-21.

The Odisha government in its annual plan has stated that it has planned to provide 16.21 lakh household drinking water connections in 2020-21, out of the total 81 lakh rural households in the State. The State is also planning 100 per cent household tap connections by 2024.

“Priority is being given for 100% coverage of villages under water scare areas, quality-affected areas, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna villages, villages in aspirational districts and SC/ ST dominated habitations,” the Odisha government stated in its action plan.

The Odisha government said a roadmap is prepared for the effective implementation of Village Action Plan (VAP) with the active participation of the rural community. The State is also strengthening existing drinking water sources for long-term sustainability of drinking water supply systems through convergence of various programmes.

State also proposed taking NABL accreditation for 18 of its water testing labs. At present, it has one state-level lab and 32 district level labs.

The Odisha government informed that the State reels under two extreme conditions of water scarcity and also excess of it. There is one part which is water-stressed for most of the year, while the other part is marooned in monsoon. With the mercury soaring above 40 degrees Celsius, and during the prevailing COVID–19 pandemic, it is important that people don’t crowd public stand posts/ drinking water sources to fetch drinking water.

Therefore, State was advised for taking up water supply works in villages to provide household tap connections, which will help in practicing social distancing, and will additionally help local people in getting employment and boost rural economy.

In the present context, when lot of migrants are returning to the State, it has become very important to provide livelihood to them. These personnel could be utilized in water supply related works especially plumbing, fitting, water conservation works, etc. in every village to ensure sufficient groundwater availability leading to water security, water availability for agriculture and most importantly will help in provision of drinking water to every rural household as per the objective of Jal Jeevan Mission.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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