Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 9
The Union Jal Shakti Ministry has decided to provide portable water testing devices to ensure the quality of drinking water to households under the Centre's flagship Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
The Union Jal Shakti Secretary Pankaj Kumar on Monday disclosed that the Jal Shakti Ministry was in touch with the Union Ministry for Commerce and Industry for the proposed device.
The manufacture of the indigenously made affordable water testing kit would also be in line with the government's "Atma Nirbhar" campaign.
The JJM, launched on August 15, 2020, is being implemented through the National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) of the Jal Shakti Ministry. It is implemented along with states.
The JJM seeks to provide every rural household in the country high-quality and regular piped water on a sustainable basis by 2024.
NJJM's Mission Director Bharat Lal, who is also Additional Secretary, Jal Shakti, gave a broad indication that the putative devices should be available sometime in the coming fiscal year.
He said the Ministry will be just a facilitator concerning the devices. It would be upon the state and local authorities to procure them and carry forward the matter.
Also, the Ministry will encourage the Gram Panchayats, local authorities and the States concerned to levy user charge/service charge on the consumers concerning the tap water provided under JJM.
Lal said the administrative decision on levying the user charge would be purely that of the local authorities and their States concerned.
Water is a State subject.
Briefing about the allocation of funds for Jal Shakti Ministry in the Union Budget 2021-22, Kumar along with top officers exuded optimism.
The budget outlay for the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has been increased to Rs 9,022 crore from Rs 7,262 crore (RE) in 2020-21. Also, Rs 5,130 crore to be provided through EBR route for critical irrigation projects. The total allocation is Rs 14,152 crore.
The Micro Irrigation corpus has been doubled to Rs 10,000 crore.
The allocations include Rs 330 crore for Atal Bhujal Yojana. The scheme is being implemented in seven states, including Haryana, and involving a total of 78 districts and 8,350 Gram Panchayats.
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