No access to drinking water

09/04/2018

Shocking it may sound but it is a fact that despite making an expenditure of over Rs 200 crore during past three and half years the performance of Jammu and Kashmir under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) has remained dismal and far below the national average thereby defeating the objective of the ambitious scheme of the Union Government. Moreover, the State Government has failed to utilize whopping Rs 298 crore under Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin and National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) much to the disappointment of the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin scheme was launched on October 2, 2014 by the Prime Minister to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to achieve an Open Defecation Free (ODF) and Swachh Bharat by October 2, 2019-marking the 150th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. During the period between October 2, 2014 and February 8, 2018, J&K made an expenditure of Rs 200.10 crore under Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin. However, an amount of Rs 132.81 crore remained unspent as on February 8, 2018 during 2017-18 despite the fact that the current financial year is also set to conclude within another 15 days.
Despite making expenditure of Rs 200.10 crore Central Share under Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin during past three and half years, the performance of Jammu and Kashmir has remained dismal thereby defeating the objective of the ambitious scheme of the Union Government.
The sanitation coverage in J&K as on December 31, 2017 was 44.80%, which is far below the national average and in comparison to adjoining States. During past three and half years, Punjab has achieved 93.94% sanitation coverage while as Himachal Pradesh, which is having topography similar to that of Jammu and Kashmir, has achieved 100% sanitation coverage. During 2015-16, a total of 64222 IHHLs and 162 CSCs were constructed while as during 2016-17, 81787 IHHLs and 251 CSCs were constructed by the concerned authorities in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir. During the current financial year, 228993 IHHLs and 235 CSCs have been constructed so far. What to talk of showing good performance on sanitation front, J&K has also failed to come up to the expectations of the Union Government as far as providing safe drinking water to the people is concerned. This can be gauged from the official figures, which reveal that against a total of 15958 habitations only 9002 have been provided safe drinking water while as nearly 7000 habitations don't have complete access to drinking water despite the fact that huge funds have been provided to J&K under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) of the Union Government.

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