New Delhi: The Union Government has increased the Central grant to Andhra Pradesh under the Jal Jeevan Mission for 2021-22 to Rs 3,182.88 crore, which was Rs 790.48 crore in 2020-21. Union minister, Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat while approving this four-fold increase in allocation assured full assistance to the state for making provision of tap water supply in every rural home by 2024.

This year with a four-fold increase in central allocation (Rs 3,182.88 crore), an opening balance of Rs 146.65 crore, Rs 242.91 crore shortfall in state share from last year and the matching state share for the current year, the state has Rs 6,805.71 crore assured fund for the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission.

In AP, out of a total 95.66 lakh households in 18,650 villages, 46.89 lakh households (49.02 per cent) have tap water connections. On 15 August 2019, at the time of launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, 30.74 lakh (32.14 per cent) households had a tap water supply. In 21 months, 16.14 lakh (16.88 per cent) households in the state were provided tap water connections, which is less than the national increase of 22 per cent.

Andhra Pradesh has to provide tap water connections to the remaining 48.77 lakh households like the proclamation 'Har Ghar Jal' meant. The state has to accelerate its speed of implementation to meet the timeline. The state has planned to provide tap water connections to 32.47 lakh households in 2021-22, 12.28 lakh tap water connections in 2022-23 and six lakh tap water connections in 2023-24 to achieve tap water supply for every rural household.

The centre said that in 2020-21, Andhra Pradesh could provide only 12.97 lakh tap water connections. The water supply work to provide tap water connection has not yet started in 874 villages. The pace of implementation in the state in the last quarter of 2020-21 was 2.92 lakh tap water connections per month which has dropped to about 74,379 tap water connections per month in April and May of the current year. The state has to provide about four lakh tap water connections per month to achieve the target set for 2021-22. Urging the state to accelerate the pace of implementation, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has written a letter to AP chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, emphasizing that the work of providing tap connections should start in all villages so that the state can provide tap water supply to every household by March 2024.

In 2020-21, Rs 790.48 crore as central grant was available with the state, out of which only Rs 297.62 crore was drawn by the State. Thus, the state surrendered Rs 492.86 crore meant for tap water supply in rural areas of the state.

In 2021-22, Rs 1,164 crore has been allocated to Andhra Pradesh as 15th FC tied grant for water and sanitation to Rural Local Bodies/PRIs. There is assured funding of Rs 6,138 Crore for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26. This huge investment in rural areas of Andhra, will accelerate economic activities and also boost the rural economy. It will create new employment opportunities in villages.

National Outlook

Jal Jeevan Mission announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 August 2019 from the Red Fort is under implementation in partnership with States/ UTs to provide tap water connection to every rural household of the country by 2024. The total budget for Jal Jeevan Mission in 2021-22 is Rs 50,011 crore.

At the start of the Mission in 2019, out of a total of 19.20 crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 crore (17 per cent) had tap water supply. During the last 21 months, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission has been implemented with speed and 4.29 crore households have been provided with piped connections. With the increase in coverage by 22 per cent, presently 7.52 crore (39.22 per cent) rural households across the country have tap water supply. Goa, Telangana, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have achieved 100 per cent household connection in rural areas.

Currently, every household in 62 districts and more than 92 thousand villages have a tap water supply.

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