- Jal Jeevan Mission has been launched as a flagship scheme with a focused attention to provide safe potable tap water connections to the rural areas of the country by 2024. It focusses on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level.
- The scheme has a bottom-up approach with Gram Panchayat or Paani Samiti to plan, implement, manage, operate and maintain its in- village water supply infrastructure including water quality surveillance.
However, considering the experience of drinking water programs following aspects needs attention.
- Scheme covers only rural areas. Focus on urban water needs especially in water stressed districts is needed.
- Effective coordination among states and centre.3. Extra focus is required on areas where water quality issues.
- Lack of management skills and requirement of training of members of Paani Samiti, local governments are needed.
- Convergence through programs such as District Mineral Fund, MGNREGA, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, CSR, PPP models etc. should be explored.
- Training of rural youth to monitor quality of water and technologies such as sensor-based delivery monitoring systems should be explored.
- User fees should be charged for proper upkeep and maintenance of infrastructure.
- Effective provision of drinking water will result in improved health outcomes especially for women and children, rural employment and enhance productivity of people. The program if pursued will improve quality of life and bring ease of living to people in the rural areas.