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Har Ghar Jal: Puducherry achieves feat, joins other states and UTs

Submitted by scc india staff on May 14, 2021

Puducherry has become a ‘Har Ghar Jal' union territory (UT), by ensuring that every rural household in the UT has access to tap water connection.

With this, the UT joins Goa, Telangana, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as the fourth state/UT to provide guaranteed tap water to every rural home under the Union Government's flagship programme, Jal JeevanMission.

The Jal Jeevan Mission is being implemented in collaboration with states/UTs to provide safe tap water in sufficient quantity and of prescribed quality to every rural home on a regular and long-term basis by 2024.

In addition, the state of Punjab, as well as the UTs of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, have reached the milestone of providing assured tap water to 75 %of rural homes. Out of 34.73 lakh households in Punjab, 26.31 lakh (76 per cent) have access to tap water, and the state plans to provide 100 per cent coverage to all rural households by 2022.

In Puducherry, tap water is now available to all 1.16 lakh rural households. The UT has achieved the status of ‘Har Ghar Jal' well ahead of schedule.

The use of various funds available through the convergence of different programmes such as MGNREGS, JJM, SBM (G), 15th FC Grants to PRIs, District Mineral Development Fund, CAMPA, CSR Fund, Local Area Development Fund, etc. was urged during the finalisation of the UT's Annual Action Plan in April 2021. These resources will be integrated at the village level, and a Village Action Plan (VAP) will be developed to ensure long-term drinking water security.

The UT also intends to obtain NABL accreditation/recognition for its water quality testing laboratories and to conduct campaign-style testing of all drinking water sources.

The UT of Puducherry is now working on a plan to treat and reuse greywater collected from homes. The UT is working hard to ensure the long-term viability of its water supply. The four regions, namely Pondicherry, Karaikal, Yanam, and Mahe, are located in different parts of the country and are geographically separated. Puducherry is surrounded by rivers and tributaries.

Five rivers drain into the sea in the Puducherry district, seven in the Karaikal district, two in Mahé district, and one in Yanam district, but none originate within the territory.

Puducherry has over 500 ponds and 84 irrigation tanks, which are vital for groundwater recharging, drinking water, and agriculture. Puducherry has been working diligently to de-silt ponds and rejuvenate local water bodies, both of which are critical for drinking water supply schemes. The UT achieves effective community mobilisation and participation through a well-defined IEC plan.

JJM is the India government's flagship programme, with the goal of providing tap water to every rural household in the country by 2024. In addition to the Rs 50,011 crore budgetary allocation for Jal Jeevan Mission in 2021-22, there is also a Rs 26,940 crore assured fund available under the 15th Finance Commission tied-grant to RLB/PRIs for water and sanitation, matching state share and externally aided as well as state-funded projects under the Jal Jeevan Mission.