Centre allocates around Rs 7,000 crore to West Bengal under Jal Jeevan Mission: Ministry

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New Delhi, Jun 1 (PTI) The Centre has allocated nearly Rs 7,000 crore to West Bengal for the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in 2021-22 in a four-fold rise from last year's budget, the Jal Shakti Ministry said on Tuesday.

The central allocation for 2019-20 was Rs 995.33 crore and was increased to Rs 1,614.18 crore in 2020-21, the ministry said.

'Due to slow implementation and resultant poor utilisation of funds, the state could not draw the full allocated amount. Now, the state has planned to implement the Jal Jeevan Mission with speed to provide tap water connections to 43.10 lakh rural homes in 2020-21 and 52.74 lakh FHTCs (functional household tap connections) in 2022-23 and 2023-24,” the ministry said.

To achieve these targets, the state has to speed up the implementation by four-fold, the ministry stressed.

'To provide every household with assured tap water supply on a regular and long-term basis, the Central Government allocated Rs 6,998.97 crore grant to West Bengal under Jal Jeevan Mission for the year 2021-22,” the ministry said.

Unhappy over the pace of work under the Jal Jeevan Mission in West Bengal, the Jal Shakti Ministry said the state has shown “dismal performance” in its implementation.

Last month, the Centre had announced Rs 3,410 crore for Gujarat, Rs 5,117 crore for Madhya Pradesh and Rs 1,605 crore to eight northeastern states under the mission.

The Jal Jeevan Mission, a flagship project of the Modi government, has been allocated Rs 50,000 crore in this year's budget. The mission aims to provide tap water connections to all rural households.

At the time of announcement of the Jal Jeevan Mission in August 2019, out of 163.25 lakh rural households in West Bengal, tap water supply to home was limited to only 2.14 lakh rural home i.e. about 1 per cent.

In the last 21 months, in West Bengal 14 lakh households have been given tap water connections, thus coverage has increased by 8.58 per cent to 9.90 per cent against the national average of 39 per cent, it said.

Out of 1.63 crore rural households, about 1.48 crore are to be provided with piped water connection. In 2020-21, West Bengal provided 12.48 lakh tap connections against a target of 55.58 lakh.

In a meeting held recently with the state, the National Jal Jeevan Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti reviewed West Bengal's Annual Action Plans and is helping to prepare a road map to make the state a 'Har Ghar Jal' state by 2024, it said.

There are 1,251 villages affected by arsenic and fluoride contaminations in drinking water sources in West Bengal.

The state has been advised to take up these villages on priority and ensure that either piped potable water is provided or purely as an interim measure, community water purification plants (CWPPs) should be installed in these villages to provide arsenic and fluoride free drinking water at the rate of 8-10 litres per person per day for drinking and cooking purpose. PTI PR SMN SMN