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India: Annual Action Plan of Puducherry for Financial Year 2020-21 has been approved by National Jal Jeevan Mission, Govt of India. The Union Territory plans to provide household tap connections to remaining households in 2020-21. For this work, village-level planning involving the local community is in full swing despite COVID-19. Gram Sabhas are conducted in villages maintaining social distancing. The local community will play a pivotal role in planning, implementation, management, operation & maintenance of water supply systems in villages to ensure long-term sustainability. Local communities are encouraged to take responsibility for water supply systems in villages for regular upkeep and operation & maintenance. Not only the emphasis is given on the revamping of traditional water bodies, but due care also is given on greywater treatment and reuse.

Under Jal Jeevan Mission, water quality testing laboratories at different levels are being established. The community is being involved in the surveillance of water quality. Provision has been made to empower and engage with the community, for which action plan is prepared to incorporate various planned activities like procurement of kits, the supply of kits to the community, identification of at least five women in every village, training women for use of Field Test Kits so that water supplied at village level could be tested in situ.

The UT has been advised to focus on 24*7 service delivery in rural areas so that the villages can act as ‘utilities’ with a focus on ‘service delivery’. It’s also planned to conduct Internet of Things (IoT) based sensor monitoring for water supply in villages.

With summers in full swing, monsoons approaching, and country grappling with COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more imperative to provide a livelihood to the migrant workers who have returned to their native villages by providing jobs related to water supply especially water conservation works in every village that will ensure sufficient groundwater availability leading to water security, water availability for agriculture and most importantly will help in the provision of drinking water to every rural household.

Through the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, Government of India is making all efforts to provide every rural household in the country a Functional Household Tap Connection for water in an adequate quantity of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis. The objective of this flagship program is to bring improvement in the lives of rural people by providing potable water at their doorstep and ensure ‘ease of living’.

As announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his last Independence Day speech, Jal Jeevan Mission envisages providing household tap connections in the rural areas of the country by 2024. Universal coverage of all rural households for safe access to potable drinking water is being ensured under this ambitious Mission. A budget of Rs 3.60 lakh Crore has been allocated for this program. Special attention is being paid to provide potable water on priority in water-stressed and water quality-affected areas, aspirational districts, SC/ ST habitations, Sansad Adarsh Gramin Yojna villages, etc.

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