In a striking quandary, even the world’s wettest place gets thirsty. Rain rain all the season but not enough to drink! Mawsynram, where clouds float right into villagers’ homes every year, receives record breaking rainfall but once the monsoon is over, people have to queue up at roadside taps and fight for water.
Mawsynram holds the Guinness Record for “the wettest place on earth”, toppling long-time champion Cherrapunji from the podium. It’s a place where residents use grass to soften the sound of the deafening rain on their roofs, dry their drenched clothes on chulhas as often as thrice a day, and won’t bat an eye when a mass of cloud floats right into their home.
But unfortunately, in the winter months, not enough water is available for the population and lack of planned water conservation is considered as one of the primary reasons for this predicament. However, with the launching of Jal Jeevan Mission, a project funded by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, this tiny village sees a ray of hope.
While centre targets 2024 for the completion of the project, moving much ahead, Meghalaya under the Dynamic leadership of young and vibrant Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, has set the target of December 2022 for Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) to every rural household of the state.
Leading from front to implement the project, Conrad said,
“As you know, the Government of India has targeted to complete the Jal Jeevan Mission and provide tap water to all the rural households by 2024. However, we are planning to fast track the project and complete it in the next two years. By 2022 we should be able to complete the rural household targets so that everyone gets tap water supply.
We have a target of almost 2 lakh households in this financial year. Meghalaya PHE Department is doing a tremendous job to pursue the completion of all the work mandated under the programme and move forward aggressively even in the difficult situation created by COVID19 pandemic. I am confident that the state will be able to reach the target on time.”
Setting a two years target to reach the rural household, the 42 year old chief minister personally visits rural Meghalaya to see piped water connections that have created much anticipated convenience to the rural residents who earlier depended on drawing water manually from distantly located water sources of the villages. The programme will also implement source sustainability measures, such as, recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation, rainwater harvesting, as a mandatory element.
“This project is conceived by our prime minister and is implemented under the leadership of Gajendra Shekhawat, the Jal Shakti Minister. We are getting tremendous support and I would like to thank our prime minister and the Ministry of Jal Shakti for all the financial and technical support in implementation of this programme,” shared Conrad.
Jal Jeevan Mission envisions providing safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections to all households in rural India by 2024. The Jal Jeevan Mission will be focused towards a community approach to water and will include extensive information, education and communication as key components. JJM looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.