Meghalaya Public Health Engineering (PHE) Minister, Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar on October 12 informed that Rs 1,600 crore has been spent for the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in the state.
He also said that around 1400 villages have achieved 100 per cent completion of providing tap water connection to rural households under the JJM.
Tongkhar further said that the government has just crossed 40 per cent of providing tap water connection to rural households under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
''The target is to complete the mission in December this year, but as of today, the state has just crossed 40 per cent of providing tap water connection to rural households,'' said Tongkhar while speaking to reporters, after the review meeting on implementation and the progress.
The Minister also informed that the department will do “wonders” by ensuring the maximum number of households are covered under the JJM within the next three months.
“We will be doing wonders in these 3 months’ time since it is working season. We can expect maximum work to be completed in these 3 months’ time”, added the Minister.
Tongkhar further informed that the number of targeted households has increased from 5.89 households to 6.30 lakh households, adding, ''Out of 5.89 lakh households, we have been able to plan and sanction for more than 5.62 lakh households”.
Stating that Meghalaya was recently awarded best performance for JJM implementation, Tongkhar said, ''Even though the engineers and officers of the department have given their best efforts, there is always scope to do better''.
“During the review meeting, we requested all the engineers and officers to speak out and give suggestions to further improve the achievement of the department in the JJM implementation. The discussion was a fruitful one and a solution was offered to problems related to the delay in making payment to the contractors,” he said.
He also stressed the need for strong cooperation from the grass root level and better coordination between the department and the contractors for the completion of the mission.
The minister also informed that the engineers have also expressed concern over the delay to submit the inspection report by the third party and said, “We have asked the chief engineer to meet the third party agency to understand the problem they are facing and we expect this also will be resolved at the earliest.”
Further, the minister informed that based on the state government’s request, the ministry concerned has allowed the JJM to be extended to 9 census towns in the state and due to this the number of households has increased to 6.30 lakh.
As per the guidelines issued by the ministry, the state is allowed to implement the JJM in areas that have been classified as census towns but do not have statutory urban bodies.
Meanwhile, Tongkhar said that he had also taken up the issue with the ministry on the need to protect the catchment areas to prevent water sources from getting dried up.
He also informed there are landowners who have come forward and expressed their willingness to give land if the government wants to acquire it for the protection of the catchment areas.
“I am happy to see the positive response from the people and I really want the support of the community to ensure the sustainability of the water sources across the state,” he said.
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