Piped water in all urban areas: Govt likely to announce major scheme

AMRUT scheme, which focuses on about 500 cities, is likely to be brought under JJM-Urban scheme

The proposal for the scheme states that the time saved from fetching water could be used for education or economic activities | Photo: PTI

A new five-year programme is likely to be announced during the February 1 Budget to provide tap water and sewerage connections to towns and cities at a cost of ₹2.79 lakh crore.

By 2026, the Jal Jeevan Mission-Urban, according to an Indian Express report, will provide tap water connections to all statutory towns and sewer connections to all cities having over a lakh population. The government had approved the programme on December 17.

The new programme was designed following a demand from states to provide water and sewage to cities that were not covered under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), sources were quoted as saying.

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Here are some of the main points regarding the new programme:

  1. Currently, over 3,500 cities don’t benefit from any structured scheme for water supply, and therefore, the government aims at covering all 4,000 cities with the new scheme.
  2. The scheme reportedly targets 2.68 crore households who do not have any tap connection and 2.64 crore households that don’t have sewerage facilities.
  3. The AMRUT scheme, which focuses on about 500 cities and aims to cover 1.39 crore households, is likely to be brought under the JJM-Urban scheme.
  4. The Swachh Bharat Mission will oversee the sewage connections outside cities that are covered under AMRUT scheme.
  5. The proposal for the scheme states that the time saved from fetching water could be used for education or economic activities.
  6. The proposal states the Centre will full fund the scheme in union territories that do not have a legislature and 90% in north-eastern and Himalayan states. Cities with below a lakh population will get half funding, cities with population of 1-10 lakh will get one-third and those with over a million population will get one-fourth funding.
  7. The Expenditure Finance Committee has suggested providing outcome-based funding instead of input of project-based funding. Besides, it has also recommended private-public partnership.
  8. French development bank The Agence Francise de Developpement (AFD) and Germany’s KfW have shown interest to provide funds up to $200 million and $300 million, said the report.
  9. According to the proposal, an urban population of 33.19 crore out of the estimated total 44.03 crore will have access to piped water supply by 2025.
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