National Rural Drinking Water Programme Current Affairs

Government launches Swajal Scheme in 115 Aspirational districts

Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation has launched Swajal Scheme in 115 Aspirational districts of India to provide clean drinking water. It will involve outlay of Rs. 700 crores through flexi-funds under existing National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) budget.

Swajal Scheme

Swajal is community owned drinking water scheme or programme for sustained drinking water supply. Under it, 90% of project cost is taken care by the Government and remaining 10% is contributed by beneficiary community. The operations and management of the project is taken care by the local villagers. Under this scheme, government aims to provide villages with piped water supply powered by harnessing solar energy. Moreover, hundreds of rural technicians will be trained under this scheme for operation and maintenance of Swajal units.

Aspirational districts

The Union Government had selected 115 backward (aspirational) districts for rapid transformation by 2022 in line with Government’s vision to create ‘New India’. NITI Aayog had selected these districts on six socio-economic parameters, pertaining to health and nutrition, education, financial inclusion and skill development, agriculture and water resources and basic infrastructure. Under this initiative, Government focuses closely on improving people’s ability to participate fully in burgeoning economy

These 115 backward districts include 35 districts affected by Left Wing Extremists (LWE) violence, 55 districts just affected by LWE and another 15 including districts in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast affected by terrorism. Government has embarked upon major policy initiative for rapid transformation of these 115 districts that are lagging on specific development parameters. For this government will leverage Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), aided by technology to bring radical transformation of these aspirational districts

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Union Cabinet approves National Rural Drinking Water Programme

The Union Cabinet approved continuation and restructuring of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). The programme will cover all the Rural Population across the country.

The purpose of continuation and restructuring is to make it outcome-based, competitive and better monitored with increased focus on sustainability of schemes to ensure good quality service delivery to rural population.

National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP)

NRDWP will be continued co-terminus with 14th Finance Commission cycle till March 2020. ‎It will enable the country to reach the goal of increasing coverage of sustainable Piped Water Supply. A sum of Rs. 23,050 crore has been approved for the programme.

Its focus will be on piped water supply, increase level of service delivery, thrust on coverage of water quality affected habitations, coverage of Open Defecation Free (ODF) declared villages, ‎Integrated Action Plan (IAP) districts, ‎Border Out Posts (BOP) with piped water supply and ‎Institutional set up for proper O&M of water supply assets etc.

The restructuring will make programme flexible, result-oriented, competitive, and will enable the Ministry towards to reach the goal of increasing coverage of sustainable Piped Water Supply.

Background

The NRDWP is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with major emphasis on ensuring sustainability (source) of water availability in terms of potability, adequacy, convenience, affordability and equity. It was launched in 2009. It has provision of 50: 50 fund sharing between Centre and the States.

The aim and objective of NRDWP is to provide every rural person with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other basic domestic needs on sustainable basis. Under it water will be supplied with minimum quality standard, which is conveniently accessible at all times and in all situations.

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