HP becomes first hilly state in India to provide water to rural houses: CM

SHIMLA, July 8: Himachal Pradesh has become the first hilly state in the country to provide water to every rural household after achieving a 100 per cent target under Jal Jeevan Mission before set time, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said in a statement on Saturday.

Despite the difficult geographical conditions, all the total 17.08 lakh rural families in the state have now been provided with tap water, he said.

The Jal Jeevan Mission, which aims to provide 100 per cent accessibility to tap connections to every rural household, was announced on August 15, 2019. Under this mission, a target was set to provide household tap connections in every household by 2024.

Himachal Pradesh has bagged another feat in the field of drinking water by achieving its target ahead of time. The state has made its place among the top nine states in the country, it said. A provision has been made to provide 55 litres of clean drinking water per person every day through a tap connection under the Jal Jeevan Mission, the statement said.

The state also received additional incentives from the Center on the basis of efficient assessment and better performance in drinking water quality, it said. Sukhu said that 1,742 schemes were approved by the state-level scheme sanctioning committee with an estimated amount of Rs 5757.79 crore.

Drought-prone areas of the state were identified for the implementation of these schemes and priority was given to tribal areas, aspirational districts and adarsh gram panchayats, he said. Over 28,000 panchayat representatives, about 22,000 village water sanitation committee members and over 14,000 youth and students have been imparted training for the operation, maintenance and management of rural drinking water schemes, Sukhu said.

Sixty-nine laboratories have been set up in the state to ensure the quality of drinking water. Field test kits have been distributed to each village for water testing, through which people can get regular water testing done in their village itself, the statement said.

The chief minister informed that check dams and mud ponds are being built to recharge the sources and raise the groundwater level. Attention is also being paid to bawdis, springs and other sources to revive and conserve natural water sources.

Under the Jal Jeevan Mission, schemes are being prepared with anti-freeze technology to ensure uninterrupted water supply in snow-bound areas. Moreover, solar energy-based schemes have been started to deal with the problem of power supply, the statement added. (PTI)