HYDERABAD: Describing the Central government’s Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), the piped water supply programme to all households in the country, as a “Maruti 800”, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said: “If any State wants to present ‘Rolls Royce’ to their people, they can do it with their own money”.
Participating in the Regional Review Meeting for Southern States and UTs here on Monday, the Union minister said that the Centre would give 50 per cent of the funds of the Jal Sakthi to the States. The minister said that JJM would be implemented with community participation. There is no need for big projects or engineering marvels, he remarked.
The Union minister also stated that they would involve NABARD and also go in for external borrowings for JJM, the world’s biggest drinking water programme. “Money is not a challenge for the scheme. The challenge is time as we have to provide piped water to the households by 2024,” he said.He said that the waste water being generated by JJM should be reused for agriculture or for recharging the groundwater. “Ramakrishna Mission did it wonderfully,” the Union minister said.
The minister claimed that JJM would transform the lives of the people, help in the development of the country and also help in the growth of the GDP. He said that the Central government would spend $50 billion for JJM.
The minister told the officials from the south that the first six months of the project were important and they should prepare a plan for the infrastructure. "We have to do four times the work done in the past 70 years on drinking water in the next five years. We have to pull up our socks and work tirelessly, day and night," the Union minister said.
Like Mission Bhagiratha
Telangana Chief Secretary SK Joshi said that the amount being spent by the Centre when divided by the total households in the country would come to around Rs 6,200 and wanted the Union minister to distribute the money accordingly to the states as per their households. Karnataka Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Principal Secretary N Nagambika Devi said they were implementing Jala Dhara programme on the lines of Mission Bhagiratha of Telangana. “Our major challenge is funds in implementing JJM,” she said.
An official from Tamil Nadu said that they are fully geared up to implement JJM. He, however, said that the only source for Tamil Nadu is Tamraparni, which is a dying river. In the morning session, AP Irrigation Minister P Anil Kumar Yadav sought the Centre’s help for linking Godavari with Penna. TS Panchayat Raj Minister E Dayakar Rao, his Karnataka counterpart Eashwarappa, AP Panchayat Raj Commissioner M Girja Shankar and Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, were present.