Policy Dialogue • Emerging issues in Rural Drinking Water Governance in India

March 2, 2023 @ 9:30 AM - March 3, 2023 @ 5:00 PM
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Ashank Desai Centre for Policy Studies, IIT Bombay and Centre for Water Policy and Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai is jointly organising a Policy Dialogue on 2nd & 3rd March, 2023.  It aims to explore a few critical questions pertaining to the ongoing National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) by deliberating on contemporary rural dinking water sector governance in India.

India’s rural drinking water service provision regime has undergone a fundamental transformation with the National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM). Moving away from earlier blueprints that sought to extend drinking water provision through a variety of ways, the NJJM targets universal provisioning – through functional household tap connections – to all households by 2024. It has adopted many novel approaches in this endeavour which include solar powered piped water supply, emphasis on metering and functionality of taps, and focus on retrofitting existing infrastructure of single or multi-village schemes. According to Census 2011, 31% of households in India had access to drinking water through household tap connections. In the light of this fact, the endeavour to universalise rural drinking water provision by 2024 is an ambitious and challenging task.

Achieving the goal of FHTCs in all rural households needs overcoming a variety of challenges spread across the technical, social, institutional and financial realms. There is widespread consensus that decentralized governance of rural drinking water through community participation is crucial for achieving NJJM’s objectives. Community Management, to that end, has been firmly established in Government programs in India, primarily based on a diagnosis provided by national and international experts arguing that the lack of community ownership leads to multi-dimensional failure of schemes. Despite the constant efforts of community centric institutional models for sustaining rural drinking water schemes, a high rate of slip back/failure (30% according to GoI) raises questions on the challenges encountered in the approach.

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March 2, 2023 @ 9:30 AM
March 3, 2023 @ 5:00 PM
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