New Delhi [India], November 3 (ANI): Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Tuesday conducted a review meeting for the Jal Jeevan Mission scheme's implementation across states where he appealed to the states to work in a dedicated manner on this scheme. He praised Goa for achieving 100 per cent tap connection coverage while he pulled up Rajasthan for sluggish performance on this count.
Shekhawat said that Goa is the first state in the country where no rural housing is without a tap connection. Goa has achieved a 100 per cent target. Telangana and Puducherry are also moving fast towards the 100 per cent target. Gujarat, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are moving very fast towards the target. Some states have assured to meet their targets by 2024, and some states by 2022. At the same time, some states have talked about achieving the first target of 2021, he added.
He expressed strong opposition to the sluggish performance of some states. The Union Jal Shakti Minister made it clear that for states whose performance is unsatisfactory, their grants will be withdrawn and distributed to those states which are performing well. This will create a competitive spirit in the states. He expressed dissatisfaction over the situation in his home state of Rajasthan.
Shekhawat said that Rajasthan has a capacity of 1,000 crores last year and 6,000 crores if we look at the fixed budget for this year. Even after this, the state is far behind the average progress in Rajasthan, far from showing progress as expected, he said.
Giving information to media, the Minister of Jal Shakti said that out of 19 crore rural houses in 70 years, only 3 crore rural houses were given tap connection. At the same time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Jal Jeevan Mission Scheme on August 15, 2019, with the goal of providing tap connections to every household within five years. In the 14 months after the launch of the scheme, the government has been successful in giving 25 million new tap connections even after the global pandemic like COVID-19.
In the press conference, Shekhawat said that even though there is an ideological and political commitment from the Delhi government, this state has currently performed better. However, except for a few states, almost every state is showing its full potential.
Similarly, regarding the status of the Water Life Mission Scheme in West Bengal, he said that even today no representative of West Bengal Government was present during the meeting. Similarly, in Andhra Pradesh, the scheme lags behind normalcy. However, Andhra Pradesh has assured to perform better, he said.
Regarding Uttar Pradesh, he said that this state is big, tap connection has to be given on a large scale. The state is poised to achieve its goals by meeting its challenges better. In the meeting, the representative of the UP government has told that the incomplete target of the previous years will be met with the target of this year by 15 December 2020.
Regarding the Jal Jeevan Mission Scheme in Rajasthan, he said that the CM of the state had requested that the ratio of the central and government should be 90:10 respectively, given the geographical conditions there.
On this subject, the Minister of Jal Shakti has informed that in the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission, it was made clear that only the North East and Himalayan states would be allocated the budget in the ratio of 90:10.
Taking a dig at the Rajasthan government, Shekhawat said that the funds provided by the centre in the form of other budgets are not small, but it is a different matter that the Rajasthan government does not spend that item in development works and it keeps demanding a separate budget. (ANI)