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Centre's scheme Jal Jeevan Mission remains a pipe dream

Centre's scheme Jal Jeevan Mission remains a pipe dream
Jal Jeevan Mission

Jal Jeevan Mission, a centrally sponsored scheme to provide piped water to every rural household by 2024, faces challenges and limitations.




On Independence Day 2019, a water-starved Mahoba district of Uttar Pradesh reported only 1,612 households with tap water connections. After four years, saw a dramatic spike in official tap water connections with 98% of all rural households having water connection, but the ground reality is different from the official record. Several households do not actually have taps, some do have taps, but are not getting any water through them; even in the best-case scenario, such households get no more than two hours of water.


In the Kunata village, all 185 households have been marked as having a household tap connection. However, the reality is that many houses do not even have the pipes, let alone the taps, that have been promised as part of the Har Ghar Jal scheme. Women here continue to walk to the several handpumps or to the village well to draw water.


Asthaun, a village with 420 households, gripes that only half the households have taps and no water actually flows through them. Noting that half the village is in a low-lying area so without a submersible pump, which “only the rich could afford”, water simply did not make it to most houses. The village is still reliant on groundwater from hand pumps for domestic drinking purposes.


Despite official claims of 100% household tap connections, many households lack taps, and those with taps often receive limited water. Some households, despite having tap connections, use local groundwater due to inadequate tap water quality. In some areas, taps provided by the mission have been stolen, and households lack sufficient storage to maintain a continuous water supply.