J&K to complete Jal Jeevan Mission by Sep 30: CS

The Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam on Monday chaired the second meeting of Apex Committee of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and reviewed the progress being made under the mission.

Administrative Secretaries of Finance, School Education, Power Development, Jal Shakti and Rural Development along with representative of Jal Jeevan Mission, Government of India and concerned Heads of Departments participated in the meeting.

At the outset, the Chief Secretary reviewed the Action Taken Report on the minutes of 1st APCJJM meeting. The Chief Secretary maintained that coordinated efforts must be put in place to achieve the target of providing every rural household with Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) by 30th September, 2022.

It was informed that under Phase I, universal tap water coverage has been achieved in the districts of Srinagar and Ganderbal. It was also mentioned that works in district Reasi are underway and will be completed by 2nd October, 2020 and that of district Samba by 31st March, 2021. Completion of 1st phase of the mission will benefit 2,32,431 households in 1,087 Gram Panchayats across 99 blocks by providing them with functional household tap connections.

It was further informed that the Department has so far completed baseline survey of all 18.17 lakh rural households, besides completing district water security plans for all districts. Additionally, ‘Pani Samitis’ in 4217 Panchayats have been constituted for effective monitoring and tendering reforms undertaken to avoid infructuous expenditure.

Chief Secretary approved the Department’s proposal of revising the work schedule of Jal Jeevan Mission in the UT, by taking up 9 and 7 districts under phase II and phase III, respectively. It was also informed that to fast track execution of the projects, the Department is appointing ‘Project Development and Management Consultant’ (PDMC), one each for Kashmir and Jammu province, which will supervise project execution, contract & project management and bill verification.

Secretary, Jal Shakti Department apprised the Chief Secretary that 1533 projects worth Rs 3760 crore have been identified which require retrofitting of water supply schemes by the department.  As such, efforts are underway to utilize the existing skill sets of departmental experts to achieve faster execution under these projects through fast tracked e-tendering, 3rd party monitoring and concurrent auditing.

Chief Secretary impressed upon the Department to initiate the process of tendering for works under subsequent phases to ensure adherence to project timelines.

Phase II will provide universal drinking water connections to 9 districts of Bandipora, Doda, Jammu, Kulgam, Kupwara, Poonch, Pulwama, Shopian and Udhampur, whereas, phase III will cover 7 districts of Anantnag, Budgam, Baramulla, Kathua, Kishtwar, Ramban, and Rajouri.