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New Delhi: India’ 38% rural population has been covered under the marquee Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), with 21.4% rural households been provided with tap water connection since the scheme’s launch in 2019, according to Jal Shakti ministry.

The scheme aims to ensure assured tap water supply or ‘Har Ghar Jal’ to all rural households by 2024. Four crore households have been provided with tap water connections since the scheme’ announcement on 15 August 2019.

“So far, 58 districts,711 blocks, 44,459 Panchayat and 87,009 villages have ensured 100% coverage of FHTC (functional household tap connections)," Jal Shakti ministry said in a statement on Friday.

This comes in the backdrop of water supply getting a leg-up in the union budget presented in February, wherein an outlay of Rs2.87 trillion was announced for the launch of the Jal Jeevan Mission Urban. The aim is to supply water to 4,378 urban local bodies with 2.68 crore tap connections.

Also, post the completion of the pilot projects for monitoring water supply through Internet of things (IoT) technology-based sensors in the villages of five states of Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh; other states such as Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana, and Arunachal Pradesh, have floated tenders for similar monitoring.

“The IoT shall provide real time information to public health officials, members of Village water supply committee (VWSC), general public regarding the quantity and quality of water supplied to users. It shall make use of sensors to observe flow, pressure level, chlorine analyzer as well as the level of ground water. It shall help prevent supply of unfit water, arrest leakages and provide valuable info to VWSC to plan for source development and augmentation," the statement added.

In July 2019, the government had formed a new ministry, Jal Sakti, to address all water issues in the country. The Jal Shakti ministry was formed by integrating it with other existing ministries, such as water resources and the ministry of drinking water and sanitation. The larger aim is to work with state governments to ensure ‘Har Ghar Jal’ to all rural households by 2024.

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