Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday congratulated the Goa government for becoming the first state to be ‘Har Ghar Jal-certified’, which means that every household in the state had a piped water connection. In a virtual address, he said that the Union Territories of Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu too had achieved the feat.
“Today, 10 crore rural households of the country have been connected to piped clean water facilities. This is a big success of the government’s campaign to deliver water to every household. This is a great example of sabka prayas (everyone’s efforts),” Modi said. He said that the Jal Jeevan Abhiyan was not just a government scheme, but a scheme run by the community, for the community. He said that many states will join Goa in achieving this mission soon.
The Har Ghar Jal Utsav under the Jal Jeevan Mission was held in Panaji and attended by Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. “Goa has been taking the lead in various missions of the country,” the Prime Minister said.
“This is a matter of pride for the people of Goa,” Sawant said, congratulating various government departments that “worked continuously through the two years of Covid”. The coastal state of Goa has a population of about 15 lakh.
The Prime Minister said that in the last eight years, his government had done much more work than what was done in the preceding 70 years.
“There were about 16 crore rural households in the country that had to depend on outside sources for water. We could not have left such a large population of the village fighting for this basic need. That is why 3 years ago I had announced from the Red Fort that every house would get piped water. Rs 3.60 lakh crore is being spent on this campaign,” the Prime Minister said.
“Despite the interruptions caused by the biggest epidemic of 100 years, the pace of this campaign did not slow down. The result of this continuous effort is that in just 3 years, the country has done more than double the work done in seven decades. This is an example of the same human-centred development which I talked about this time from the Red Fort,” PM Modi added.
“It is true that to form a government, one does not have to work that hard as one has to work to build a country. We have all chosen to work for nation building. That is why we are working on the challenges of the present and the future. Those who do not care about the country, are not bothered about spoiling the present or future of the country. Such people can definitely talk big, but can never work with a big vision for water,” the Prime Minister pointed out.
PM Modi said that women, who earlier suffered silently on account of water-related problems, have been among the main beneficiaries of the programme as piped water connections have saved their time and families have been protected from diseases caused by contaminated water.
The Jal Jeevan Mission, PM Modi said, rests on four pillars – people’s participation, stakeholder participation, political will, and optimum utilisation of resources. “Local people and Gram Sabhas and other institutions of local governance have been given an unprecedented role in the campaign. Local women are trained for water testing and are members of ‘Paani Samitis’,” the Prime Minister said.
Achieving more in seven years than what was achieved in the last seven decades, the Prime Minister said, indicated political will. “Optimum utilisation of resources is reflected in synergising with schemes like MGNREGA. Saturation of piped water will also eliminate possibility of any discrimination,” he added. In his virtual address, Modi also referred to the use of technology like geo-tagging of water assets and internet-based solutions for water supply and quality control.