Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on August 23 virtually launched a month-long campaign for empowerment of village communities under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
The ‘BESTOW 1.0’ campaign will strengthen the Jal Jeevan Mission which aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water regularly through functional household tap connections (FHTC).
To mark the launch, Khandu bestowed an in-village component of water supply assets to the village water and sanitation committee (VWSC) of Ganga village in Papum Pare district.
At the same time, at the district levels, the District Water and Sanitation Mission (DWSM) chairpersons bestowed the in-village components of the water supply scheme to VWSCs in their respective districts.
JJM, a centrally sponsored scheme under the Jal Shakti ministry, envisions providing safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections to all households in rural India by 2024. However, the Arunachal Pradesh government has taken it upon itself to achieve the target by 2023, a year ahead of the national target.
The state Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) and Water Supply (WS) is the implementing agency here and as per its records, as of date, 2,101 villages have been equipped with 100 per cent FHTC.
Complimenting the department and congratulating the villages with the successful handing over of the assets, CM Pema Khandu underscored the role of VWSC, a constituent of the gram panchayat, in the successful completion of the mission as well as its sustainability.
“The role of village committees is critical in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of water supply in the village and in ensuring functional tap connection to each household,” he pointed while interacting with the VWSCs and DWSMs connected virtually from the districts.
“Har ghar me nal aur har nal me jal (tap connection in every house and water in each tap) and now it is up to you (VWSCs) to keep the water flowing,” CM Khandu said.
Khandu informed that to support Jal Jeevan Mission, the state government has started the ‘Arunachal Jal Sankalp’ scheme to add to the fund allocated by the central government.
Expressing concern over reported water scarcity in few pockets of the state like Longding, the CM held degradation of forest cover and reducing rainfall as the main factors.
The month-long campaign will cover the formation of VWSCs in left out villages, opening bank accounts of VWSCs, adoption of a resolution by communities for water tariff collection, training of at least five women in a village on handling field testing kits, resolution on catchment areas, training on plumbing, masonry and electric motor/pump and handing over of in-village water supply components.
The ‘BESTOW’ campaign aims at maximising the process of handing over in-village water supply components, one of the end products of JJM. The campaign aims to achieve certain milestones every week to make water supply assets eligible for handing over to village communities.