8-member team from National Jal Jeevan Mission visits West Bengal

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New Delhi, Jan 7 (PTI) An eight-member team from the National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) is on a four-day visit to West Bengal from January 5-8 to provide technical assistance to the state for its implementation.

The Jal Shakti Ministry, in a statement, said the visit also aims to identify issues and challenges being faced by the programme implementers in the state and also to document the good practices.

The team is visiting Purba Medinipur, Paschim Medinipur, Nadia, Murshidabad, Birbhum, Bardhaman, Bankura and Paschim Bardhaman districts of the state during these four days.

'The members of NJJM are interacting with the field level officials involved in the implementation of water supply schemes as well as Gram Pradhans, members of Gram Panchayats, members of Village Water and Sanitation Committees/ Paani Samiti and the beneficiaries,” the ministry said.

West Bengal is planning to accomplish the ambitious target of providing tap connection to every rural household of the state by 2024.

'For achieving this time-bound goal under JJM, the Government of India is committed to provide all assistance to the state and thus working in tandem with the state government,” the statement added.

Unhappy over the pace of implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in West Bengal, the Centre had in October last year said the state has shown “dismal performance” by providing only 2.2 lakh tap water connections against the target of 55.58 lakh in 2020-21.

Last month, a four-member team had visited the state to provide technical assistance thereby expediting the pace of implementation of the project.

Out of 1.63 crore rural households, West Bengal has a coverage of 7.61 lakh households and the state is committed to provide tap connections to all households in the state by 2023-24, it added.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria reviewed the progress of the mission.

He said since Independence till August 2019, a total of 3.23 crore rural households (out of total 18.93 crore rural households) had tap water connections, but in a short span of a year alone, 3.04 crore new connections have already been provided to rural households under this mission.

Goa is the first state to provide 100 per cent piped connection and so far 27 Districts, 458 blocks, 33,516 Gram Panchayats, 66,210 villages have been declared to have achieved 'HarGharJal', another statement quoting Kararia said.

Recently, Kurukshetra became the 27th District in India and 3rd in Haryana to have achieved this target, the statement said.

“Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana, UT of Puducherry are close to achieving 100 per cent coverage. States which have made good progress in terms of increasing the coverage are -- Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Mizoram, UT of Andaman and Nicobar,” it added. PTI PR SMN SMN