How Goa became the first state to provide piped tap water in rural households2 min read . Updated: 15 Oct 2020, 09:35 AM IST
- In March, chief minister Pramod Sawant had announced that the state had approximately 90% piped water connections and only houses in wildlife areas were left to be covered
NEW DELHI: The coastal state of Goa has become the first state in the country to provide 100% piped tap water connections to rural households. The state had set piped drinking water using local sources and with infrastructure built under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) as its priority.
Experts say the relatively small size of the state, availability of water, and awareness among residents are the advantages Goa enjoys.
A central government scheme, Jal Jeevan Mission, announced last year, aims to provide piped water to all rural households by 2024. In Goa, 2.30 lakh rural households have been covered under the scheme.
Goa had included piped water supply by 2021 in its annual action plan. For 2020-21, allocation to the state for the project was increased to ₹12.4 crore. It used existing schemes including MGNREGA, Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) for strengthening of drinking water sources, water supply and grey water treatment.
In March, chief minister Pramod Sawant had announced that the state had approximately 90% piped water connections and only houses in wildlife areas were left to be covered.
“We have gone from 93% to 100% household tap water connections under the Har Ghar Jal Scheme. All gram panchayats have the provision of taps in registered homes in Goa. It is the first state to complete this target," Sawant said.
It plans to extend sensor-based service delivery monitoring system to assess the functionality of water supply to ensure that prescribed quality is being provided to every rural household on regular and long-term basis.
The union Jal Shakti ministry has asked the state to begin setting up water testing facilities. Under the Mission five people in every village especially women will also be trained to use field test kits to test the water in their villages.
“The move is good for people as they get piped water directly to their houses. But in terms of the infrastructure that is required to provide water, there is a doubt over that. While Goa has greater connectivity compared to other states when it comes to water. Not sure if the state government has done the feasibility while identifying these areas," Sujeet Dongre, Goa programme coordinator, Centre for Environment Education said.
He added that the move should take Goa away from their traditional ways of harvesting water.
“Is providing water to the doorstep is ecologically possible in terms of availability of water? Goa receives huge amounts of rainfall but summer, we are water stretched too. This move will creating aspiration amongst the people. How is the demand and the aspiration of meeting the target going to be met?," he added.