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Rs 812 Crore approved for Odisha under “Jal Jeevan Mission

New Delhi:1/6/20: Through ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, Government of India is making all efforts to provide every rural household in the country a Functional Household Tap Connection for water in an adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis. Following the true spirit of cooperative federalism, State Governments are steering this flagship programme to realise the objectives of the Mission so as to bring cheers in the lives of rural people by providing potable water at their doorstep and ensure ‘ease of living’. It is envisaged that through this life-changing Mission, each household will get a potable water supply of 55 lpcd of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis.

The estimated outlay of the mission is Rs 3.60 Lakh Crore with Central and State share of Rs. 2.08 Lakh Crore and Rs.1.52 Lakh Crore respectively.

Odisha state presented their Annual Action Plan before the National Committee headed by Secretary, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti for consideration and approval for 2020-21. Govt of India approved Rs 812 Crores for implementation of the Mission in the State for the financial year. This allocation is a significant jump from last year’s allocation of Rs 297 Crore. Out of 81 lakh rural households in the State, Govt of Odisha plans to provide 16.21 lakh household connections in 2020-21. The State is planning 100% household tap connections by the year 2024. Priority is being given for 100% coverage of villages underwater scare areas, quality-affected areas, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna villages, villages in aspirational districts and SC/ ST dominated habitations.

Laying emphasis on capitalising on ‘low-hanging fruits’ i.e. in the villages/ habitations where piped water supply schemes already exist, State is making all-out efforts to immediately provide household tap connections to remaining households belonging to weaker and marginalised sections on priority. A roadmap is prepared for the effective implementation of the Village Action Plan (VAP) with the active participation of the rural community. Strengthening of existing drinking water sources for long-term sustainability of drinking water supply systems through convergence of various programmes like MGNREGS, SBM (G), 15th FC Grants to PRIs, District Mineral Development Fund, CAMPA, Local Area Development Fund, etc. at village level is planned for judicious use of all available resources. The State has been allocated Rs. 2,258 Crore under 15th Finance Commission Grants to PRIs during 2020-21; 50% of this amount has to be mandatorily spent on water and sanitation.

To implement the mission, institutional arrangements at various levels have been made and State’s PHE Department is to play a critical role. To instill sense of ownership among the village community, Mission strives to involve the community in planning, managing, implementing, operation and maintaining the water supply schemes meant for them for long-term sustainability. State Government will start engaging the Self Help Groups and voluntary organisations for community mobilization.

Jal Jeevan Mission encourages participation of local community in surveillance of water quality. For this, an action plan carried out to incorporate the timely procurement of kits, a supply of kits to the community, identification of at least five women in every village, training women for use of Field Test Kits and reporting and collating the reports with laboratory-based findings of the water sources. 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.

Odisha 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. This 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.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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