Panaji: Goa has earned itself the unique distinction of becoming first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State in the country as it successfully provides 100% Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) in the rural areas covering 2.30 lakh rural households. Harnessing the immense benefits of efficiently utilising the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) which aims to improve the quality of life and bring ‘ease-of-living’ to rural communities, the Chief Minister of Goa, Pramod Sawant announced that all rural homes in the State now have a tap water supply. State’s commitment and brisk efforts have ensured advancement and achievement of targets well before time.
In June, 2020, the Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat wrote to the Chief Minister of Goa expressing his happiness on the State’s Annual Action Plan (AAP) to provide 100% Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) in rural areas by 2021 and extended full support for the implementation of Mission reiterating that providing potable water is a national priority for the Union Government. Accordingly, fund allocation to Goa in 2020-21 has been increased to Rs 12.40 Crore. Besides, the State could also explore through convergence of various programmes like MGNREGS, SBM (G), 15th FC Grants to PRIs, District Mineral Development Fund, CAMPA, CSR Fund, Local Area Development Fund, etc. for strengthening of drinking water sources, water supply, grey water treatment & re-use and operation & maintenance.
The two districts of Goa i.e.North Goa with 1.65 lakh rural households and South Goa with 98,000rural households in 191 Gram Panchayats are fully saturated with assured piped water supply through tap connections. To strengthen the water testing facilities, the State is in process of getting 14 water quality testing laboratories NABL accredited. Jal Jeevan Mission mandates training 5 persons in very village especially women to be trained in using Field Test Kits, so that water can be tested in the villages.
Goa’s achievement is an example for other States to emulate and ensure every rural home gets tap connection and especially in these times of CoVid-19 pandemic, it is all the more imperative to have assured safe water supply within households. This silent revolution happening in rural India in terms of household tap water connections is a work in progress for a ‘New India’.
Having achieved the universal access, the State now plans for sensor-based service delivery monitoring system so as to monitor the functionality of water supply i.e. potable water in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality being provided to every rural household on regular and long-term basis.