Photo: Sidheekul Akber| Mathrubhumi
Ponnani: The Jal Jeevan Mission project, a projected envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India, has failed to meet its target in Kerala.
It is reported that connections provided to the household in the state are less than 20% of the target set for each financial year. Since April 2020, only 9.63 lakh drinking water connections have been provided.
The number of connections provided was 4.04 lakh in 2020-21 and 5.58 lakh in 2021-22 in place of a set target of 21.42 lakh and 29.37 lakh connections respectively. It has achieved 18 per cent of the target in the last financial year and 19 per cent so far this year.
When the project was announced in 2019, out of the total 70.69 lakh rural households in the state, only 16.64 lakh households had drinking water connections. Currently, there is a marginal increase to 27.13 lakh rural households with connections. However, with 43.56 lakh households still struggling without tap connections, it is doubtful whether the target will be met by 2024.
The Kerala flood of 2018 and the Covid-19 has further delayed the project. The increase in the price of PVC pipes has forced the authorities to replace them with Polyethylene (PE) pipes. The delay in getting permission to install pipes on the roads across the state also caused a delay in the project.