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Revised National Rural Drinking Water Programme for 12th Plan
Oct 14, 2013

In the 12th Five Year Plan period the Ministry is revising National Rural Drinking Water Programme for better access of water supply to the masses. 

What is National Rural Drinking Water Programme?

The aim and objective of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) is to provide every rural person with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other basic domestic needs on a sustainable basis, with a minimum water quality standard, which should be conveniently accessible at all times and in all situations. 

What are the revised provisions for 12th plan?

For the 12th Plan the GOI is giving special emphasis on piped water supply in rural habitations. States are being asked to plan for coverage of habitations with piped water supply through stand posts or household connections. This shall reduce the drudgery and time taken in the collection of water, it shall also facilitate in tackling the problem of drinking water quality in the habitations affected with water issues. In addition, to accelerate the setting up piped water supply systems in rural areas in States where such coverage is low, the Ministry has proposed a project with World Bank support in parts of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh which focuses on setting up piped water supply systems. 

What is the present situation of the water supply in India?

At the beginning of Bharat Nirman Phase I, as on 1.4.2005, it was targeted to cover 55,067 uncovered, 3,31,604 slipped back and 2,16,968 quality affected habitations with adequate safe drinking water supply. Against this, as reported by the States, as on 15.8.2013, 55,193 uncovered, 8,33,304 partially covered/slipped back and 1,52,371 quality affected habitations have been covered. This includes newly identified Uncovered, Slipped-back, partially covered habitations and Quality affected habitations. 

What the reasons for the failure of the programme?

The reasons for not fully achieving the targets of coverage of habitations include high capital costs of large multi-village schemes to bring water from distant safe sources, time taken for planning, designing, sanctioning, procuring, execution and commissioning of such schemes, slipping back of habitations to partially covered status due to drying up of drinking water sources; lowering of ground water table; drinking water sources becoming contaminated due to natural and man-made causes; water supply systems outliving their life; systems working below rated capacities; poor operation and management of systems; increase in population and emergence of new habitations, procurement issues, etc. 

The other reasons are, some States being unable to spend the available funds under NRDWP fully and in time include delays in procurement processes, taking up multi-village schemes that require 2-3 years for completion thus delaying expenditure, delays in preparatory activities, long time taken for completion of legal formalities including obtaining various clearances, delayed release of funds to implementing authorities etc. 

What are the initiatives taken by the GOI?

To assist in addressing the above issues, the Government of India provides financial and technical assistance to States under the NRDWP, to supplement their efforts to provide adequate safe drinking water to the rural population. In 2013-14, Rs. 11000 crore has been allocated under the NRDWP. 

Further to achieve the targets under NRDWP, the State Governments are vested with powers to plan, approve and implement drinking water supply schemes. The State Governments, in consultation with the Central Ministry, prepare Annual Action Plans (AAP) each year, to implement rural water supply schemes to cover partially covered and quality affected habitations and for other activities. 

To facilitate water quality testing, a separate Water Quality Monitoring & Surveillance Component with 3% of NRDWP allocation has been created to strengthen water quality testing practices in States.

To incentivise States to involve the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) in the planning, operation and management for drinking water supply schemes, a Management Devolution Index has been formulated to measure the extent of devolution of powers made by States to the PRIs with respect to Funds, Functions and Functionaries in regard to drinking water supply. 10% of funds under NRDWP are kept for allocation to States on the basis of their MDI scores. 

The Ministry has also set up a robust web-based monitoring mechanism at the central level to monitor the implementation of water supply schemes under the NRDWP in the States. 

 


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