Free water to all households of rural areas in the state by December, 2022
"Paniyam paramam loke jeevanaam jeevanam samritam", i.e. Water is the basis for the origin of life and the survival of mankind. Taking inspiration from this hymn of an ancient scripture, the Himachal Pradesh government under the able leadership of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has implemented the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), a flagship program of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in letter and spirit.
In his Independence Day speech from the rampart of Red Fort on August 15, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Jal Jeevan Mission with a pledge to provide pure drinking water to every household. The State government has taken an early lead in the implementation of this flagship scheme of Modi's second term as Prime Minister, from day one. Jal Shakti Department of the state has worked on a mission mode to achieve the targets of JJM. New tap connections have been given to 8.45 lakh households in the state so far under JJM.
Inspite of tough topographical conditions, Himachal Pradesh is on the verge of successfully completing the challenging task of providing drinking water to every household through the Jal Jeevan Mission. Today 16.51 lakh households spread across the state, from the plains of Una, Kangra and Nalagarh to the highest villages of Kinnaur, Bharmaur and Lahaul-Spiti, are getting free drinking water through taps.
Besides providing water connections to every household, the State government has gone one step further by taking a historic decision of providing free drinking water to all the residents of rural areas. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced this scheme for the people of rural areas, during the state level Himachal Day function organized at Chamba on 15th April, 2022. About 70 lakh population of rural Himachal is getting the benefit of this scheme.
There are about 17,27,518 houses in the rural areas of the state. Out of which about 16.51 lakh households have been provided tap connections and they are getting drinking water totally free of cost.
So far, four districts of the state viz. Kinnaur, Chamba, Lahaul-Spiti and Una have achieved the 100 percent target under the JJM. Other districts are also heading towards the 100 percent mark. Most of these districts have already achieved more than 90 percent of the target. Jal Shakti Department has provided 46,853 new connections in the state so far during the current financial year 2022-23.
In Shimla district out of total 1,73,123 households of rural areas 1,64,806 have been provided water connection. In Kullu district 1,06,634 households out of total 1,14,481, in Kangra district 3,89,167 households out of total 4,13,171 and in Sirmaur district 1,13,849 houses out of total 1,21,248 houses of rural areas are getting clean drinking water through taps. Similarly, in Mandi district 2,93,148 households out of total 3,11,575 houses of rural regions, in district Hamirpur 1,06,488 houses out of total 1,12,172, in Solan district 1,10,341 out of total 1,13,821 and in district Bilaspur 99,333 households out of 1,00,179 have been provided water connections. Whereas in Kinnaur district all 22,763 households, in Chamba all 1,21,752 households, in Lahaul-Spiti all 7,284 households and in Una district all 1,15,949 households are getting drinking water through taps.
Himachal Pradesh has received an amount of about Rs. 4567 crore from the Central government under the JJM since the year 2019. Himachal has been ranked first in the country in terms of tap functionality and quality of drinking water in seven states and the state has also received an incentive of Rs. 1028.43 crore from the Union government.
The State government has further simplified the process of getting water connection under JJM. Any person can get water connection in rural areas by submitting his application on plain paper and attaching a copy of Aadhar card with his application. Pipes for tap connection are also provided free of cost by the Jal Shakti Department. The State government has set a target of providing free water to all the households of rural areas in the state by December, 2022.
Himachal Pradesh has not only taken a lead in the effective implementation of JJM but also has taken a unique initiative of providing drinking water at totally free of cost in rural areas. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur who himself hails from a very humble background of a far flung village of the Seraj region of Mandi district, always understands the basic needs of a common man. As a result, the State Government has taken an initiative to provide free drinking water to the people of rural areas. This initiative of the State government has turned out to be a boon for the lakhs of the women across the state that used to face many difficulties daily, while fetching drinking water from other sources far from their homes.
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