Implementation of NRDWP

Jammu and Kashmir State has reportedly not fared well in satisfactory implementation of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) which is aimed at providing every one living in villages with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other domestic needs. The scheme, inter alia, envisages the domestic needs of water to be taken on sustainable basis along with the acceptable standards of the quality of water.
Since a sense is derived about the fate and the status of implementation of schemes of public interest through audits and feedbacks, a period from 2012 to 2017 puts the State in the non performing club in respect of how it performed on major components of the scheme under reference. Public Health Department, in this regard, deserves censures and those at the helm during the period under reference, merit nothing short of denunciation for adopting a non serious approach in this respect. It is pertinent to note that in the instant case, no excuses of funds constraints could be put as a shield since substantial financial support was provided to the State. Either those funds were diverted to other uses and or not spent according to the requirements under the scheme. End use of the funds, if spent and utilized, needed to be precisely delineated.
It is absolutely not comprehensible as to why hardly any component or provision of this scheme has received the required attention of the concerned State authorities. This approach has resulted in virtually defeating the very objectives of the scheme. Neither is there a firm commitment from the authorities on the desired objectives having already been achieved by the State independent of or much before the launching of the scheme by Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. However, the objective of the scheme is a continuous process and not one time ad-hoc solution.
Aimed at total piped water supply in rural habitation to reduce the drudgery and the time taken in the collection of water, the Central Government provides financial and technical assistance to the States. Optimizing the use of water resources as also decisions taken in respect of water resources management, are twin facets of water security planning, as per the provisions of the scheme. Water security planning is mandated to be taken, under the scheme, at the village, District and State levels. The State Government authorities need to explain as to why water security plans were never prepared at any of these three levels.
Not only this much of indulging in quite casual approach was adopted by the concerned State authorities in the subject matter but, under the guidelines of the scheme, State Water and Sanitation Mission is required to be set up for coordination, management and monitoring of water supply and sanitation projects in the State and this “Mission” is required to meet at least twice in a year but strangely the track record of the Mission in the State is below the average levels in respect of meeting and deliberating upon the related issues. This has resulted into imaginable violations of the guidelines of the said programme. The performance audit report has pointed out how provisions of the scheme have been thrown to winds.
The State has failed even in providing community water purifying plants to those areas where the quality of the water was demanding such requirements and in this connection, not even a solitary plant has been provided in quality affected habitation. This all amounts to nothing short of knowingly failing the scheme itself by the State which needed to explain about all this deliberate goof, pinpointing who, where and at which level recklessly erred in this behalf.