SRINAGAR: Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, the Chief Secretary, commended the efforts of all field operatives and administrative personnel involved in the UT Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) for accomplishing a significant milestone—providing Functional Tap Water Connections (FHTCs) to 75% of households in Jammu and Kashmir.
This acknowledgment took place during the 7th Apex Committee Meeting of the JJM, which was attended by key officials such as the Additional Chief Secretary of the Jal Shakti Department, Principal Secretary of Finance, Secretary of Revenue, Deputy Secretary of JJM from the Government of India, MD of JJM, Secretary of JSD, Director of Rural Sanitation, Chief Engineers from the Jal Shakti Department, along with other concerned officers, held on Wednesday.
Dr. Mehta highlighted the considerable progress made by the Mission since 2022 when its advancement was initially sluggish. He attributed this turnaround to improved coordination and collaboration, spanning from top-tier management to grassroots levels, resulting in smoother progress and the achievement of intended goals.
Addressing the enormity of this task, Dr. Mehta noted that executing projects worth nearly Rs 12,000 crore under this mission in the UT was unprecedented. He emphasized that timely guidance, supervision, capacity building, and support provided to field staff were instrumental in achieving the current milestones.
The Chief Secretary reflected on the commendable progress made by the Mission, stating that from a meager 4% of allotted works (261) and 3% of initiated works (197) on March 31st of the previous year, the Mission had significantly increased, with 97% (6,399) of works allotted and 86% (5,636) initiated out of a total of 6,596 works to date.
He advised the department to conduct pre-audits of works carried out under this Mission to ensure quality and eliminate any doubts. Dr. Mehta highlighted the importance of transparent processes such as e-tendering and digital payments, after obtaining necessary administrative and technical approvals, to facilitate smoother operations.
During his presentation, Shaleen Kabra, the Additional Chief Secretary of the Jal Shakti Department, informed the meeting that the Mission was progressing steadily, meeting revised deadlines promptly. He disclosed that at the current work pace, the Department aims to achieve 95% FHTCs in the UT by year-end and complete the Mission entirely by March 2024.
Kabra further shared that out of the total 14.01 lakh households provided with tap water connections in the UT, 8.26 lakh (44%) have been connected since the Mission’s inception. He assured that efforts to connect the remaining 4.68 lakh households were rapidly progressing and estimated to be completed by March next year.