Having provided access to potable water through tap connections to all 62,037 rural households in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and 1.14 lakh rural households in Puducherry, A&N Island has been declared as the first Swachh Sujal Pradesh and Puducherry has declared itself as a ‘Har Ghar Jal’ verified Union Territory (UT) on September 17, 2022.
Congratulating the people of the UT on this achievement, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said, “The efforts of all the Panchayat representatives and citizens in achieving this achievement are commendable. Now the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are free from open defecation and every household in all the villages there are getting adequate and safe water through taps.”
In the last few years, public participation has played a big role in Jal Jeevan Mission and the Swachh Bharat Mission. During the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav period, the country is on the path of progress by following the mantra of Sabka Prayas,” the PM added.
Union Minister of Jal Shakti (MoJS), Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat visited Port Blair to declare the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as Sampoorn Swachh in the presence of Smt. Vini Mahajan, Secretary, DDWS.
Speaking on the occasion, the MoJS highlighted the role of Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) in achieving ODF Plus status for Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The islands had achieved ODF status in May, 2018 with the construction of 22,506 IHHLs and 309 Community Sanitation Complexes (CSCs). He lauded the achievement of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as all its 189 villages fall under the ODF plus ‘Model’ category, pointing to the fact that third party verification of these villages has also been completed.
“I commend and congratulate all the residents of the island, GPs, officials and other stakeholders who have contributed immensely and tirelessly towards achieving this goal. This achievement will inspire other States/UTs to achieve the same,” the Minister of Jal Shakti said.
He urged them to wholeheartedly participate in the ongoing ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ (SHS) campaign with special focus on the cleaning of legacy waste.
According to the IMIS, as many as 31,61,673 individuals and 197,674 villages have participated in the SHS campaign as on 17th September 2022.
As part of the programme, the Union Minister visited various solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) initiatives of the islands – individual household latrines, organic waste composting sites and a solid waste management cluster, where he planted saplings and interacted with beneficiaries and PRIs.
During the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission on 15 August 2019, 46 per cent and 81 per cent of rural households in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry respectively had access to potable drinking water through tap connections. Despite the various disruptions and challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the consistent efforts of Panchayat representatives, water committees and the district authorities of both the UTs, provision of working tap water connections has been made in all their rural households.
All 62,037 rural households in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and 1,14,908 rural households in Puducherry now have access to potable water through tap connections. The same holds true for all public institutions including schools, anganwadi centres, gram panchayat buildings, health centres, community centres, ashramshalas and other government offices.
Additionally, people from 266 villages in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and 246 villages in Puducherry have verified their villages as ‘Har Ghar Jal’ by passing a resolution in their Gram Sabhas that every household was getting regular supply of water of prescribed quality.
The Jal Jeevan Mission is focused not only on building water supply infrastructure, but on water service delivery. The principle of Jal Jeevan Mission is that ‘no one should remain deprived’, thus ensuring that every household, regardless of their socio-economic status, gets a supply of tap water.
Jal Jeevan Mission is striving to liberate mothers and sisters from the age-old hard work of bringing water for daily household needs and to improve their health, education and socio-economic status. The mission is promoting ‘ease of living and increasing the pride and dignity’ of rural households.