New Delhi I The Central government has decided to increase coverage of piped water to households from the current 18 per cent to 100 per cent by 2024, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said here on Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference here following a meeting with ministers from states, Shekhawat said formulation of a plan under ‘Nal Se Jal’ (water from tap) mission to provide tap water to 14 crore households was underway.
He however, insisted that water is a state subject as per the Constitution and sought collective efforts and a public movement to achieve the target. “It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resolution to provide drinking water to all by 2024. The plan is to provide piped water to every household in the country,” he said.
“We want to work with states as part of cooperative federalism to deal with the issue of water shortage. We also need a public movement to make this mission successful.” Shekhawat also said health of water resources in the country had deteriorated and it has become a matter of concern.
“We need a holistic and integrated approach to address the issue. We need to keep it above politics,” he said. Shekhawat said Sikkim had 99 per cent coverage of piped water to households, while some states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand had below five per cent.
According to Jal Shakti Ministry officials, the per capita water availability was over 5,000 litre cube in 1950 but it has now reduced to 1,434 litre cube. A ministry official said states like Punjab and Haryana consume water that is double the amount they actually store and harvest.