New Delhi: Members of Parliament took keen interest in the working of the Jal Shakti Ministry, especially of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
In the eight sittings of the recently concluded Budget Session commenced on 4th February 2021 and lasted till 25th March 2021, ten (10) Starred Questions and ninety-four (94) Unstarred Questions relating to Jal Jeevan Mission were asked by various Members of Parliament in both the Houses.
Wide range of questions related to piped water supply in rural households in States/ UTs, implementation of JJM, provision of safe drinking water in water quality-affected areas, sustainability of drinking water sources, functionality of tap water connections, allocation of funds under JJM, etc. were asked.
Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat replied to the starred questions on the floor of both the Houses highlighting the progress of JJM.
Reply by the Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to the discussion on working of Ministry of Jal Shakti in Rajya Sabha. (Video Credit: Rajya Sabha TV You Tube Channel)
In Rajya Sabha, two days were allotted for discussions on the working of the Ministry of Jal Shakti. MPs participated in the debate and Jal Jeevan Mission received wide support in the house.
Replying to various issues raised by different Members of Parliament, Union Minister of Jal Shakti not only explained the functioning of the Ministry but also emphasized the broad contour of works/ initiatives of the ministry, which are under implementation especially Jal Jeevan Mission – Har Ghar Jal, Atal Bhujal Yojana – participatory groundwater management; Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana for assured irrigation to more farm land; Namami Gange for rejuvenation of river Ganga; Swachh Bharat Mission (G) 2.0 to keep our villages open–defecation free and clean, etc.
Broad vision of the Union Government to make the country water secure were explained in detail, so that water becomes an enabler in faster socio-economic development.
In this period, Consultative Committee of the Parliament attached to Ministry of Jal Shakti also met under the chairmanship of Shekhawat and the committee members were briefed about the progress of implementation and status of tap water supply in rural homes. Minister of State Rattan Lal Kataria spoke about how under the mission each and every family in villages is being provided tap water connection to ensure tap water in every home.
In the month of March during break of the session, Parliamentary Standing Committee also scrutinized the performance of Jal Jeevan Mission.
In its report tabled in the Parliament, the Standing Committee appreciated the effort being made under the mission and also gave a number of recommendations.
The budget for Jal Jeevan Mission in 2021-22 has been increased to Rs. 50,011 Crore from 11,000 Crore in 2020-21.
In addition, funds for water supply are also coming from 15th Finance Commission tied grants to RLB/ PRIs for water & sanitation, matching State share and externally aided projects. Thus in 2021-22, more than Rs. 1 lakh crore is planned to be invested in the country on ensuring tap water supply to rural homes.
Considering the important role of the Members of Parliament can play in the implementation of JJM, the ministry of Jal Shakti has issued advisory to all the States/ UTs, thereby considering suggestions from Members of Parliament as well as encouraging the MPs to discuss issues related to implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission in the District Development Coordination & Monitoring Committee (DISHA) meeting for time-bound completion of works.
To bring in transparency and make information available to citizen, Ministry of Jal Shakti has developed JJM dashboard wherein the online progress of implementation and status of tap water supply in homes has been put in public domain.
This dashboard can be accessed at https://ejalshakti.gov.in/jjmreport/JJMIndia.aspx
It’s notable that Union Government’s flagship programme, Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is under implementation in partnership with States since August, 2019 with an aim to provide tap water connection to every rural household off the country by 2024.
While announcing the mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed all to make ‘water everyone’s business.’ The mission is working with various stakeholders to make it truly a people’s movement. Apart from States, JJM is partnering with various agencies, organizations to make this mission a ‘Jan Andolan’ – people’s movement. (PW News)