Government Plans Mega Infrastructure To Supply Drinking Water in Cities, Survey Begins In 10 Cities

Aiming at providing universal coverage of water supply to all households through functional taps in all 4,378 statutory towns, the Centre has launched a survey to collect data on drinking water in 10 cities under the Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban).

As part of the survey, ‘Pey Jal Survekshan’, data will also be collected on wastewater management and condition of water bodies in the cities.

Providing details of the pilot project, Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said that Pey Jal Survekshan will be conducted in cities to ascertain equitable distribution of water, reuse of wastewater and mapping of water bodies with respect to quantity and quality of water through a challenge process.

The mission will be monitored through a technology-based platform on which beneficiary response will be monitored.

As the first step, he said, the ministry has decided to launch a pilot ‘Pey Jal Survekshan’ in 10 cities — Agra, Badlapur, Bhubaneswar, Churu, Kochi, Madurai, Patiala, Rohtak, Surat and Tumakuru.

Based on the learnings of the pilot survey, this exercise will be extended to all Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) cities.

Data on drinking water, wastewater management, non-revenue water and condition of three water bodies in the city will be collected through face-to-face interviews with citizens and municipal officials as per the approved questionnaire, on-call interviews, water sample collection and laboratory testing, and field survey for non-revenue water.

According to the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) is designed to facilitate universal coverage of water supply to all households through functional taps in all 4,378 statutory towns.

Funding from the government for projects will be in three tranches of 20:40:40. The third instalment will be released based on functional outcomes achieved and credible exclusion will be exercised while funding.

Estimated gap in urban household tap connections is 2.68 crore and estimated gap in sewer connections/septage in 500 AMRUT cities is 2.64 crore, which is proposed to be covered in JJM (U).

Rejuvenation of water bodies to augment sustainable fresh water supply and creating green spaces and sponge cities to reduce floods and enhance amenity value through an Urban Aquifer Management plan are other focus areas.

JJM (U) will promote circular economy of water through development of a city water balance plan for each city focusing on recycle/reuse of treated sewage, rejuvenation of water bodies and water conservation. Twenty per cent of water demand to be met by reused water with development of institutional mechanisms.

A Technology Sub-Mission for water is proposed to leverage latest global technologies in the field of water. An Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign is proposed to spread awareness among masses about conservation of water.

Mission also has a reform agenda, under which City Water Potability Index, reduction in non-revenue water, municipal finance reforms, rain water harvesting, recycle water to meet at least 20 per cent of the total water demand by 2025 and rejuvenating three water bodies per ULBs are the key proposed reforms.

The ULBs will be incentivised for successful implementation of the reforms.
The total outlay proposed for JJM (U) is Rs 2,87,000 crore which includes Rs 10,000 crore for continuing financial support to AMRUT Mission. In order to promote Public Private Partnerships, it has been mandated for cities having a million-plus population to take up PPP projects worth a minimum of 10 per cent of their total project fund allocation.

For North East and Hill States, central funding for projects will be 90 per cent. For Union Territories, central funding will be 100 per cent. For cities with less than 1 lakh population, central funding will be 50 per cent; for cities with 1 lakh to 10 lakh population, central funding will be one third; and for cities with million-plus population, central funding will be 25 per cent.