Yet another assurance from the Union Minister for Jal Shakti comes as a relief to the Rural Goans who do not have basic necessity like tap water after so many years. Earlier the PWD Minister Deepak Pauskar had assured the Goans his government will provide 24HRS potable drinking water by the end of 2024.
According to the reports, Goa’s entire rural population will have water connections by 2021 and the state could be one of the first to achieve the Centre’s Har Ghar Jal mission, said Union minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
“The Union government is committed to providing all assistance to the state government to achieve the Jal Jeevan mission goal,” said Shekhawat. In his letter, Shekhawat said that the fund allocation for Goa in 2020-21 has been increased from Rs 3 crore to Rs 12 crore.
The minister also said that Goa is an ideal state to use ‘sensor-based IoT’ technology to monitor water supply in every village with a modern command and control system in Panaji so that water supply can be monitored on a real-time basis.
In a meeting chaired by the secretary for drinking water and sanitation, Goa presented its annual action plan for 2020-21, wherein chief secretary Parimal Rai assured the Centre of providing 100% tap connections by 2021.
Launched by the prime minister in 2019, the Jal Jeevan mission aims to ensure that every rural household has drinking water supply inadequate quantity on a regular basis. The ministry of Jal Shakti is working closely with states and union territories to achieve the mission objectives.
Ironically, Shekhawat’s claims run contrary to PWD minister Deepak Pauskar statements on Friday that every household in the state will be provided with a tap and 24 hours of potable drinking water by the end of 2024.
The Centre has also urged Goa to utilise existing resources, especially the convergence of central schemes for judicious use of funds. In 2020-21, Goa will get Rs 75 crore as 15th Finance Commission grants to Panchayati Raj Institutions and 50% of this fund is for water supply and sanitation.
Shekhawat has written to chief minister Pramod Sawant, where he noted that out of 2.6 lakh households in Goa, 2.29 lakh households already have piped water connections. In the letter, Shekhawat said that Goa must work in a “campaign mode” for the next four to six months and enable the poor and marginalised to get tap connections.