Goa has earned itself the unique distinction of becoming the first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ State in the country as it successfully provided 100 per cent Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) in the rural areas covering 230,000 rural households.
Harnessing the immense benefits of efficiently utilising the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) that aims to improve the quality of life and bring ‘ease-of-living’ to rural communities, the Chief Minister of Goa, Pramod Sawant announced that all rural homes in the state now had a tap water supply. The state’s brisk efforts have ensured the advancement and achievement of targets ahead of schedule.
In June 2020, Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat wrote to the Goa chief minister expressing his happiness on the State’s Annual Action Plan (AAP) to provide 100 per cent FHTCs in rural areas by 2021 and extended full support for the implementation of the mission. Accordingly, fund allocation to Goa in 2020-21 was increased to Rs 124 million.
Besides, the state could also explore through the convergence of various programmes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G), 15th Finance Commission Grants to Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs), District Mineral Development Fund, Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Fund, Local Area Development Fund, etc., for the strengthening of drinking water sources, water supply, greywater treatment and re-use and operation & maintenance.
The two districts of Goa, i.e., North Goa with 165,000 rural households and South Goa with 98,000 rural households in 191 gram panchayats are fully saturated with assured piped water supply through tap connections. To strengthen the water testing facilities, the state is in the process of getting 14 water quality testing laboratories National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited. The Jal Jeevan Mission mandates training five persons in every village, especially women, to be trained in using field test kits so that water can be tested in the villages.
Goa’s achievement is an example for other states to emulate and ensure every rural home gets a tap connection. Especially in these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is all the more imperative to have assured safe water supply within households.
Having achieved universal access, the state now plans for a sensor-based service delivery monitoring system to monitor the functionality of water supply, i.e., potable water in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality being provided to every rural household on a regular and long-term basis.