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Mains Answer Writing

26-March-2024

Q1) The Jal Jeevan Mission needs meticulous coordination and collaboration between stakeholders to address the water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs at the grassroots. In this perspective, discuss the importance of safely managed drinking water services for inclusive development and elaborate upon the challenges in ensuring the mission’s success.

(250 Words/15 Marks)

ANSWER

Jal Jeevan Mission is a centrally sponsored scheme to extend piped water supply to 18 crore households by 2024. Importance of safely managed drinking water services for inclusive development can be seen from:

  1. Creating resilient health/well-being framework.

E.g., as per WHO study, Jal Jeevan Mission will avert 4,00,000 deaths from diarrhoea; avoid 14 million DALY (Disability Adjusted Life Years).

  1. Quality of life for women:
  2. Reducing the time, efforts, and drudgery associated with collecting water.

E.g., Jal Jeevan Mission will save approximately 66.66 million hours every day.

  1. Improving educational/learning outcomes in girls.
  2. Facilitate time for gainful employment etc.
  3. Preserving and upholding human dignity, ensuring ease of living, for those living in rural areas.
  4. Checking inter-generational poverty.

E.g., cognitive development/nutrition absorption; reduced maternal and infant mortality.

  1. Bottom-up approach:
  2. It will mainstream the role of local rural population.

E.g., creation of Paani Samitis.

  1. Checking contamination.

E.g., women being trained to use Field Test Kits (FTKs) to check for chloride, nitrate, fluoride etc.

 

The challenges in ensuring the success of the mission can be seen from:

  1. The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in slowing the progress of the scheme with funds and manpower diverted to manage the menace.

E.g., considerable time lost in renegotiating contracts and improving supply.

  1. The global polycrisis has had the adverse impact of increasing the cost of implementation.

E.g., Russia-Ukraine war resulted in shortages of cement and steel critical to the manufacture and connection of metal pipes.

  1. Dearth of skilled manpower.

E.g., lack of adequately skilled workforce for making tanks, cisterns, and water connections of acceptable quality.

  1. Challenges in on-ground implementation:
  2. Uneven geographical terrains across the length and breadth of the country.
  3. Scattered rural habitation also make the implementation difficult.
  4. Fluctuating prices of required materials.
  5. Insufficient contribution by the local community.
  6. Water quality/availability:
  7. In some states of the country water availability itself is a challenge, thus casting a shadow on the implementation of the scheme.
  8. In addition, water quality may also limit the outcome of the scheme.

E.g., problems of water contamination/salinity in West Bengal, Kerala etc.

  1. There is a significant gap between reported and verified connections.

E.g., Of the nearly 1,68,000 villages that are reported as ‘Har Ghar Jal’, only 58,357 villages have been so ‘certified’ by the respective Panchayats.

 

In order to ensure that JJM succeeds in achieving its targets within the mandated time frame, following steps may be taken:

  1. Adequate allocation of funds is imperative to achieve the targets under stipulated time.

E.g., allocation of 70000 crore for JJM under budget 2023 is a step in right direction.

  1. Skilling the workforce for the technical nature of work under JJM and building capacity in the local community will expedite the implementation of the scheme.
  2. Participation of CSOs in the scheme can enhance transparency and accountability in the implementation of the scheme.

E.g., correct data wrt the targets of the scheme can be presented to the citizens.

  1. Replenishing ground water bodies will ensure availability of clean (contamination free) water for distribution.

 

Owing to its immense developmental potential, comprehensive measures involving all the stakeholders should be taken to make the scheme a success

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