Under Jal Jeevan Mission, the Government of Meghalaya has decided to provide Functional Household Tap Connectionsto all rural homes in the State by 2023. There are 5.90 lakh rural households in 6,415 villages in the State and out of these, balance 5.83 lakh households are planned to be provided tap connection.
The primary focus under the Mission is ‘service delivery’ and ‘functionality’. Every family is to be provided with potable water of prescribed quality, in adequate quantity on regular and long-term basis. This needs the local communities to own their water supply systems and lead the implementation from the planning stage to the operational & maintenance stage. The mission is being implemented in such a manner that local communities through their Gram Panchayats or its sub-committees namely Village Water and Sanitation Committees (VWSCs) plan, implement, approve, operate and maintain their own water supply systems.
Recently, atwo-member team from the National Jal Jeevan Mission visited the State. In East Jaintia district, the team visited the Suchenmulieh village with 62 households who all have been provided tap water connections through a multi-village scheme. Water tariff in these two districts would be decided by the community after handing over of the schemes. One of the problems faced is the difficulty in transporting the materials to far off villages due to poor connectivity during monsoon as well as the lock down period when villagers never allowed any outsider to visit them.
Despite the pandemic period, difficulty in the availability and transport of materials, State receiving heavy monsoon rains in 2020, the provision of tap water connections under the mission is fast-tracked. The team also had interactions with district and State PHED officials. The State that started with 1% of its rural households with tap connection is well on its way to achieve the targeted 100% tap connection by 2023.These silent works undergoing in these difficult hilly terrains to provide basic amenity such as potable water to every rural home speak volume of the commitment of the Government to bring improvements in the lives of people.