The Modi government’s emphasis on providing clean tap water on priority to every household in Japanese Encephalitis – Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (JE-AES) affected areas has shown results on the ground, with Jal Jeevan Mission providing tap water supply to more than 97 lakh households in 61 JE-AES affected priority districts.
Japanese Encephalitis – Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (JE-AES) is a severe health hazard. The disease mainly affects children and young adults, which can lead to morbidity and mortality. These infections mainly affect malnourished children of poor economic backgrounds.
As many as 61 high priority districts in five States are identified for strengthening prevention and control measures. Jal Jeevan Mission is a crucial programme in reducing the burden of disease in these districts.
On 15 August 2019, when the Jal Jeevan Mission was announced, only 8.02 lakh (2.67 per cent) households in 61 JE-AES affected districts across the five States had a tap water supply. In the last 22 months, tap water connections have been provided to additional 97.41 lakh households in these districts. Now, 1.05 Crore (35 per cent) households have assured tap water supply in JE-AES affected districts.
“Jal Jeevan Mission has significantly strengthened the preventive measures to reduce spread of JE-AES by providing clean tap water supply to economically poor households in the affected districts of Assam, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal,” the Ministry of Jal Shakti said.
Among these five States with JE-AES affected priority districts, Bihar has performed well in providing tap water supply to rural households in all its 15 JE-AES affected districts. On average, 85.53 per cent of households are provided with tap water connections in these districts in 2021, which is an increase from a mere 1.88 per cent of households with tap water connections before August 2019.
The motto of the Jal Jeevan Mission is to ensure ‘no one is left out’ and every household in every village should be provided with a tap water connection. At the start of Jal Jeevan Mission in 2019, out of 18.95 Crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 Crore (17 per cent) had a tap water supply.
In 22 months, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission has been implemented with speed, and 4.44 Crore households are provided with a tap water supply. With the increase in coverage by 23 per cent, presently 7.67 Crore (40.51 per cent) rural households across the country have a tap water supply.
Goa, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have achieved 100 per cent household connection in rural areas and have become ‘Har Ghar Jal’. At present, 69 districts and more than 98 thousand villages have tap water supply connections in every household.