The Centre has allocated Rs 2,479.88 crore to Jharkhand under the Jal Jeevan Mission, a four-fold increase from last year, and released its first tranche of Rs 572.24 crore, the Jal Shakti ministry said on Tuesday.

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has assured full assistance to the state for making provision of tap water supply in all the rural households by 2024.

In Jharkhand, out of 58.95 lakh households across 29,752 villages only 7.72 lakh households (13 per cent) have been provided with tap water connections.

On August 15, 2019 at the time of launch of JJM, only 3.45 lakh (5.85 per cent) households had tap water supply, the ministry said.

In 22 months, 4.27 lakh households (7.24 per cent) in the State have been provided tap water connections.

However, in comparison to the national average of 23 per cent, the increase in providing tap water supply in Jharkhand is very slow.

In 2020-21 only 2.99 lakh tap water connections were provided to the state.

In 2020-21, the state could not utilize the grants available due to the slow speed of implementation. In the same period, Rs 572.24 crore Centre’s grant was available with the state but it could draw only Rs 143.06 crore and surrendered Rs 429.18 crore meant for tap water supply in rural areas of the state.

To assist the state to provide tap water supply to every household by 2024, the Centre has increased its allocation four-fold to Rs 2,479.88 crore.

With this enhanced Central allocation, the unspent balance of Rs 137.93 crore and matching state’s share of Rs 2,617.81 crore, Jharkhand has an assured availability of Rs 5,235.62 crore under JJM for water supply work in 2021-22.

Shekhawat had written to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren emphasising that the work of providing tap connections should start in all the villages so that the state can provide tap water supply by 2024.

The Union Minister has urged that Jharkhand should make all efforts to receive and utilise the entire grant available as this huge investment in rural areas of the state will create new employment opportunities, accelerate economic activities and also boost the rural economy.

–IANS

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