Press Information Bureau
Government Of India
Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation
(13-October, 2013 14:40 IST )

National Rural Drinking Water Programme

The aim and objective of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) is to provide every rural person with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other basic domestic needs on a sustainable basis, with a minimum water quality standard, which should be conveniently accessible at all times and in all situations. Achieving this aim and objective is a continuous process.

In the 12th Five Year Plan period, under the NRDWP, the Ministry is giving special emphasis on piped water supply in rural habitations. States are being asked to plan for coverage of habitations with piped water supply through stand posts or household connections. In addition to the fact that this shall reduce the drudgery and time taken in the collection of water, it shall also facilitate in tackling the problem of drinking water quality in the habitations affected with water issues. In addition, to accelerate the setting up piped water supply systems in rural areas in States where such coverage is low, the Ministry has proposed a project with World Bank support in parts of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh which focuses on setting up piped water supply systems. At the beginning of Bharat Nirman Phase I, as on 1.4.2005, it was targeted to cover 55,067 uncovered, 3,31,604 slipped back and 2,16,968 quality affected habitations with adequate safe drinking water supply. Against this, as reported by the States on the online Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) of Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, as on 15.8.2013, 55,193 uncovered, 8,33,304 partially covered/slipped back and 1,52,371 quality affected habitations have been covered. This includes newly identified Uncovered, Slipped-back, partially covered habitations and Quality affected habitations.

The reasons for not fully achieving the targets of coverage of habitations include high capital costs of large multi-village schemes to bring water from distant safe sources, time taken for planning, designing, sanctioning, procuring, execution and commissioning of such schemes, slipping back of habitations to partially covered status due to drying up of drinking water sources; lowering of ground water table; drinking water sources becoming contaminated due to natural and man-made causes; water supply systems outliving their life; systems working below rated capacities; poor operation and management of systems; increase in population and emergence of new habitations, procurement issues, etc.

To assist in addressing the above issues, the Government of India provides financial and technical assistance to States under the NRDWP, to supplement their efforts to provide adequate safe drinking water to the rural population. In 2013-14, Rs. 11000 crore has been allocated under the NRDWP. In order to achieve the targets under NRDWP, the State Governments are vested with powers to plan, approve and implement drinking water supply schemes. The State Governments, in consultation with the Central Ministry, prepare Annual Action Plans (AAP) each year, to implement rural water supply schemes to cover partially covered and quality affected habitations and for other activities.

To ensure sustainability of functioning of rural water supply schemes, the States have to adopt improved Operation & Maintenance (O&M) methods for their better working and to control leakages. Up to 15% of funds allocated to States under NRDWP can be utilised for O&M. To ensure the sustainability of drinking water sources, the State can utilise 10% of their allocation. To ensure supply of safe drinking water, 5% of national allocation is earmarked for allocation to States with chemical contamination affected habitations and areas reporting Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis cases (JE/AES). Further, 67% of funds allocated to States can be utilised for coverage of water quality affected habitations. To facilitate water quality testing, a separate Water Quality Monitoring & Surveillance Component with 3% of NRDWP allocation has been created to strengthen water quality testing practices in States. To incentivise States to involve the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) in the planning, operation and management for drinking water supply schemes, a Management Devolution Index has been formulated to measure the extent of devolution of powers made by States to the PRIs with respect to Funds, Functions and Functionaries in regard to drinking water supply. 10% of funds under NRDWP are kept for allocation to States on the basis of their MDI scores. The Ministry has set up a robust web-based monitoring mechanism at the central level to monitor the implementation of water supply schemes under the NRDWP in the States.

Under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme NRDWP, various mechanisms have been put in place to monitor the activities at different levels. The State Governments are required to prepare and discuss with the Central Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, an Annual Action Plan to implement various components and activities of the NRDWP. Every year, the States have to mark the habitations targeted for coverage and provide details of works, schemes and activities being taken up, on the on-line Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) of the Ministry. The physical and the financial progress being made by States have to be reported on a monthly basis on the IMIS. The Ministry monitors the information provided regularly, and States which are lagging behind in the implementation of the programme, both in terms of physical achievements and financial expenditure, are advised to take appropriate corrective measures. Senior Officers, Area Officers and Technical Officers of the Ministry tour the States to assess the progress in the implementation of the Programme. The Ministry also conducts meetings of the Secretaries in charge of rural water supply, regional review meetings, video-conferences, etc. through which implementation of NRDWP is monitored. Assessment of achievements is done through periodic evaluations of the programme by the Ministry and the Planning Commission.

The deficiencies which have been noticed in the implementation of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) in some States include the non-achievement of annual targets of coverage of rural habitations, especially quality affected habitations, and the inadequate utilization of central funds in time resulting in high unspent balances.

The reasons for some States being unable to spend the available funds under NRDWP fully and in time include delays in procurement processes, taking up multi-village schemes that require 2-3 years for completion thus delaying expenditure, delays in preparatory activities, long time taken for completion of legal formalities including obtaining various clearances, delayed release of funds to implementing authorities etc.

YSK
(Release ID :100016)



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