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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Swachh Bharat Mission will oversee the sewage connections outside cities that are covered under AMRUT scheme.
- The proposal for the scheme states that the time saved from fetching water could be used for education or economic activities.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.