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New Delhi:

In about 28 months since the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), 17.46 lakh households in Assam have been provided with clean tap water, of which, in last six months alone, clean tap water supply was provided to more than 8.5 lakh households, it was announced at a meeting on Wednesday.

At the announcement of the Jal Jeevan Mission on August 15, 2019, only 1.11 lakh (1.76 per cent) households out of total 63.35 lakh households in Assam had access to tap water supply.

“Good progress has been made if we look at the point from where we started with just 1 per cent tap water coverage in the biggest north-eastern state. We progressed well in the last six months. As the state started on a low base it took time to streamline the procedure for implementation of the programme. Now the remaining work will be carried out expeditiously,” Chief Secretary, Assam, Jishnu Barua said while presenting the state performance at a meeting with the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti officials for the review of JJM in his state.

While reviewing the progress of JJM and Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) with Barua, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) Vini Mahajan appreciated the progress made by Assam in providing tap water supply to rural homes.

“Assam is well on track to achieve the target of providing clean tap water supply to every home by 2024 and the Centre is providing full assistance to the State to achieve the goal,” she said.

Additional Secretary, DDWS, Arun Baroka; ACS in-charge SBM and JJM, Assam, S Abbasi; Finance Secretary, Assam, Samir Sinha and officers of DDWS were also present during the online review.

Speaking on the implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission, Mahajan said: “The districts have self-declared themselves Open Defecation Free, but this is not a one-time effort. Efforts under the programme are being made to bring about social and behaviour change for sustainability of the ODF status of villages at all times.”

She also emphasised on the urgent need to prioritize supply of tap water in all schools and anganwadi centres of the state.

Working in line with ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas,’ Jal Jeevan Mission’s motto is ‘no one is left out’ and it aims at universal access to potable tap water supply.

At the start of the mission in 2019, out of a total of 19.20 crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 crore (17 per cent) had tap water supply. Despite Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission has been implemented with speed and during the last 28 months, 5.59 crore rural households have been provided with tap water supply.

Currently, 8.83 crore (45.88 per cent) rural homes across the country have tap water supply. IANS