After a sluggish start to Har Ghar Jal, Uttar Pradesh has now gained some momentum and connected nearly 25% of the households with potable tap water connections.
Closing the year, the Yogi Adityanath-led government announced that it has now provided tap water to nearly 66 lakh households across villages. Till six months ago, the state had covered only 13% of the families, while it was just 2% when the scheme was announced in August 2019.
UP is among the 13 high focus states where the nationwide scheme still remains behind its set targets. These states account for 95% of all the residual work under the scheme. In UP, out of over 97,000 villages, 5,448 have been covered under the scheme. The work is currently on nearly 30,000 villages while the work is yet to start in rest 62, 175.
A flagship scheme of the BJP-led government, Har Ghar Jal was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2019 when he vowed to connect all rural households with tap water connections by December 2024.
Goa is the only certified state that has been fully covered under the Har Ghar Jal scheme. Four Union Territories — Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu — have also achieved their targets.
Meanwhile, Telangana, Gujarat and Haryana have also declared that they have fulfilled their targets, but are yet to be certified. Punjab (99.9%), Himachal Pradesh (96%), Bihar (95%) and Manipur (74%) are next in line.
The UP government had also launched the ‘Sankalp Atal Har Ghar Jal’ water awareness campaign in the state on December 25 to give a push to the scheme, which suffered several delays due to the pandemic. Mahoba, Baghpat, Hapur, Ghaziabad, Shamli, Lalitpur and Mirzapur are among the districts where the work is going on a faster pace.
In a detailed statement, the UP government said it had prepared a strong plan at the ground level regarding Har Ghar Jal Yojana in which the roles of officers and people’s representatives from the state to the village level was determined. A seven-level implementation strategy was used to carry out the Jal Jeevan Mission from the state headquarters to the panchayats.
Earlier this month, the Jal Shakti ministry had asked all states to step up and set ambitious targets for 2023 to move closer to the final deadline.
The project is important for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, with an overall outlay of Rs 3.6 lakh crore earmarked for it. In the last three years, as many as 7.61 crore rural households have been brought under the scheme.
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