CM launches campaign under JJM to provide safe and adequate water

ITANAGAR, 23 Aug: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday virtually launched ‘Bestow 1.0’ – a month-long campaign for empowering village communities under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) that aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water on a regular basis through functional household tap connections (FHTC).

To mark the launch, Khandu bestowed an in-village component of water supply assets to the Village Water and Sanitation Committee (VWSC) of Ganga village in Papum Pare district. Simultaneously, at the districts’ level, the District Water and Sanitation Mission (DWSM) chairpersons bestowed the in-village components of water supply scheme to the VWSCs in their respective districts.

The JJM, a centrally-sponsored scheme, envisions providing safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections to all households in rural India by 2024. However, the Arunachal government has taken upon itself to achieve the target by 2023, a year ahead of the national target.

The programme will include source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation and rainwater harvesting. The mission will be based on a community approach to water, and will include extensive information, education and communication as key components.

 The public health engineering & water supply (PHE&WS) department is the implementing agency here and, as per its records, as of date, 2,101 villages have been equipped with 100 percent FHTC.

Complimenting the department and congratulating the villages to which the assets have been handed over, Khandu underscored the role of the VWSC, a constituent of the gram panchayat, in successful completion of the mission as well as its sustainability.

“The role of village committees is critical in planning, implementation, management, operation and maintenance of water supply in the villages, and in ensuring functional tap connection to each household,” he said while interacting with members of the VWSCs and DWSMs connected virtually from the districts.

“Har ghar me nal aur har nal me jal, and now it is up to you (VWSCs) to keep the water flowing,” he said.

Khandu informed that, to support the JJM and make it successful in the state, the state government has started the Arunachal Jal Sankalp scheme to add to the fund allocated by the central government.

He expressed concern over reported water scarcity in a few pockets of the state, like Longding, and said that “degradation of forest cover and reducing rainfall are the main factors behind it.” He emphasized on protection and preservation of all the water sources being utilized in the implementation of the scheme by the village committees.

Khandu further emphasized on having in place a robust catchment area policy to protect water sources, and informed that the government is working on it.

The month-long campaign will include formation of VWSCs in the left-out villages, opening bank accounts of the VWSCs, adoption of resolution by communities for water tariff collection, training of at least five women in a village on handling field testing kits, resolution on catchment areas, training on plumbing, masonry and electric motor/pump, and handing over of in-village water supply components.

The Bestow campaign aims at maximizing the process of handing over of in-village water supply components, one of the end products of the JJM. The campaign aims to achieve certain milestones on a weekly basis to make water supply assets eligible for handing over to village communities.

The programme was also attended by PHE&WS Minister Wangki Lowang, the chief secretary, officials of the PHE&WS department, deputy commissioners, and members of VWSCs. (CM’s PR Cell)