New Delhi, October 2 (PTI) Five million households have been connected to water since the launch of the Jal Jeevan mission in 2019 and now tap water reaches all households in around 1.25 lakh villages, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
He also claimed that India today has done more work on this front in just two years than in seven decades.
Speaking after interacting with gram panchayats and village water and sanitation committees (VWSC) on the Jal Jeevan mission, Modi said the mission was village-led and his vision was not just to make water accessible to the population, but it was also a great movement of decentralization.
In an apparent dig during previous congressional waivers, Modi said those who have had the responsibility of policymaking for a long time live in plenty of water.
âIn the places where these people lived, they had never seen such a problem with water. They didn’t even know what the pain of life without water is. They had water in the house, water in the pool, plenty of water. “, he said in his speech by videoconference.
He said that such people had never seen the poverty which remained for them an attraction, a way of showing literature and intellectual knowledge.
âThese people should have strived for an ideal village, but they continued to love the village’s shortcomings,â Modi said.
The prime minister asserted that the vision of the Jal Jeevan mission is a movement led by villages and women, and its main base is the mass movement and public participation.
Referring to popular conceptions of the water problem, the Prime Minister spoke of films, stories, poems which told in detail how the women and children of the village traveled for miles to fetch water.
In the minds of some people, this image emerges as soon as the name of the village is taken, he noted.
The Prime Minister asked why so few people are thinking about why these people have to go to a river or pond every day and why the water is not reaching these people.
“I think those who have been responsible for policy making for a long time should have asked this question,” he said.
Stressing that since independence until 2019, only three million households in the country had access to tap water, he said since the launch of the Jal Jeevan mission in 2019, five million households have been connected to water connections.
“Today, water reaches every household in about 1.25 lakh villages in about 80 districts of the country. In ambitious districts, the number of tap connections has increased from 31 lakh to 1.16 crore,” a- he said, saying that in just two years more work has been done than in the past seven decades.
He called on all the citizens of the country who live in abundant water, to make more efforts to save water, and called on them to change their habits as well.
âComing from a state like Gujarat, I have experienced drought conditions and understand the importance of every drop of water. That is why, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, access to water and water conservation were among my top priorities, âhe said.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister also listed measures aimed at improving the health and safety of the country’s girls.
He informed that measures such as toilets in every house and school, affordable sanitary napkins, nutritional support during pregnancy and vaccination have strengthened âMatra Shaktiâ.
Most of the 2.5 million dollar houses built in the villages are in the name of women, Ujjwala has relieved the women of the smoky life, women are integrated into the atma nirbharta mission through self-help groups and these groups have tripled in the past seven years, Modi said.
He also said that over the past seven years, support to women under the National Livelihood Mission has increased 13-fold from the previous five years up to 2014.
The prime minister said the villages were anchored in the hearts of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri as he paid tribute to them on their anniversary.
Modi recalled that Gandhi used to say that the real meaning of “Gram Swaraj” is to be full of self-confidence.
“This is why I have constantly made an effort to move this reflection on Gram Swaraj forward towards achievement,” he said.
Modi recalled the measures taken during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat for Gram Swaraj such as Nirmal Gaon for ODF villages, Jal Mandir Abhiyan to revive old Baories and wells in villages, Jyotirgram for electricity 24/7 in villages, Teerth Gram for village camaraderie and e-Gram for village broadband.
As Prime Minister too, he said he was working to involve local communities in the planning and management of projects.
Modi said there was a need to ensure that the situation of bringing water to any part of the country by tankers or trains never arises.
Previously, he had interacted with Gram Sabha and Pani Samiti members from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu and Manipur.
The Prime Minister also launched the Jal Jeevan Mission app to improve stakeholder awareness and for greater transparency and accountability of programs under the mission.
He also launched the Rashtriya Jal Jeevan Kosh, where any individual, institution, business or philanthropist, whether in India or abroad, can help provide piped water connection to every rural household, school, center. anganwadi, ashramshala and other public institutions.
The âPani samitisâ play a key role in the planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of village water supply systems, thus providing clean tap water to every household on the site. on a regular and long-term basis.
Out of more than six Lakh villages, pani samitis / VWSCs have been formed in around 3.5 Lakh villages. Over 7.1 lakh women have been trained to test water quality using field test kits.
On August 15, 2019, Modi announced Jal Jeevan’s mission to provide clean tap water to every household.
To achieve the Prime Minister’s vision of âSabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayasâ, and following the âbottom upâ approach, the Jal Jeevan mission is implemented in partnership with States with a budget of R 3.60 lakh crore, according to PMO.
In addition, Rs 1.42 lakh crore has been allocated to panchayati raj institutions as a related grant under the 15th Village Water and Sanitation Finance Commission for the period 2021-2022 to 2025-2026 . PTI ASK / KR ZMN