Himachal Pradesh is first hilly state with 100% tap water connections in rural households

The state has achieved the Jal Jeevan Mission target well before the deadline, joining the league of 9 other states.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has announced that HP has become the first hilly state in India to have connected 100% rural households with tap water under Jal Jeevan Mission.

The CM said that the target has been achieved by Himachal Pradesh before the deadline. In the difficult Himalayan geographical conditions, the state government provided a total of 17.08 lakh rural families with tap water. With this, the state has come in the category of top nine states in the country.

The official statement of Himachal Pradesh government held that the state has made a provision under the Jal Jeevan Mission to supply at least 55 litres of clean drinking water for every person every day through tap connections.

The state also received additional incentives from the Center on the basis of efficient assessment and better performance in drinking water quality. Himachal Pradesh had just 44% of its rural households connected with tap water connections on August 15, 2019 when the Jal Jeevan Mission was announced. The objective of the JJM is to achieve 100% rural water tap connections by 2024.

How Himachal turned up tides

The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister said 1,742 schemes were approved with an investment of Rs 5757.79 crore to achieve the target. The state also identified its drought-prone areas for better implementation of schemes. Tribal areas, aspirational districts and adarsh gram panchayats were given priority for tap water connections. The government also trained more than 28,000 panchayat representatives, 22,000 village water sanitation committee members and 14,000 youth & students for operations, maintenance and management of these schemes.

Presently, the state has 69 laboratories to ensure drinking water quality in the entire Himachal Pradesh.

Water conservation has been an integral part of the entire exercise – there has to be enough water also to have proper supply. Hence, check dams and mud ponds development is taking place to increase the groundwater level. Bawdis, springs and other water sources are being built to rejuvenate water sources and conserve more water.

Himachal’s sister hilly state Uttarakhand has achieved 78% of the JMM target while Mizoram has 89% and Sikkim has 86% of rural households connected with tap water supply.

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