Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

Har Ghar Jal Initiative to miss 2024 target


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Har Ghar Jal Initiative

Mains level: NA

har ghar jal

Central Idea

  • The Har Ghar Jal initiative, part of the Jal Jeevan Mission, aims to provide potable water connections to all rural households in India by 2024.
  • However, multiple sources and data analysis indicate that the initiative is likely to fall short of its target, with only 75% of village homes expected to have drinking water taps by April 2024.

Har Ghar Jal Initiative: A quick recap

  • Har Ghar Jal (translation: Water to Every Household) is a scheme initiated by the Ministry of Jal Shakti under Jal Jeevan Mission in 2019.
  • It aimed to provide tap water to every rural household by 2024.
  • Finance Minister announced the scheme in 2019 Union budget.
  • In August 2022, Goa and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu became the first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ certified State and UT respectively with 100% tap-water access.
  • As of January 2023, other states and UTs Gujarat, Puducherry and Telangana have also achieved 100% tap-water access.
  • Since its inception, the scheme has significantly improved household clean tap water availability in India.

Challenges Faced by the Initiative

  • Delayed Progress: The COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of qualified manpower in states have contributed to the delayed implementation of the scheme.
  • Shortages of Essential Materials: The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war resulted in major shortages of steel and cement, crucial for manufacturing and connecting metal pipes, leading to delays and price revisions.
  • Manpower Shortage: Some states faced challenges in finding skilled workers to construct tanks, cisterns, and water connections of acceptable quality.
  • State-Specific Issues: Certain states, such as Rajasthan, face challenges in ensuring the availability of water, while West Bengal and Kerala struggle with water contamination issues.
  • Certification Gap: While the states report high coverage figures, there is a significant gap between reported and verified connections.

Expectations and Progress

  • Revised Expectations: The officials now expect about 75% of households to be covered by March 2024 and 80% by December 2024.
  • Work Yet to Begin: Around one crore households (5% of the total) have not even begun work under the scheme.
  • Timeframe Challenges: Connecting all households in villages that already have access to water sources takes an average of eight months, making it unlikely to finish in some places before 2025-26.

Political Factors and Connection Status

  • Political Angle: Some states, like Bihar and Telangana, did not rely on central funds and did not certify their connection status due to political considerations.
  • Significance of Certification: “Har Ghar Jal” villages certified as 100% compliant prominently display the images of the Prime Minister and Chief Minister, especially if Central funds were used.


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