Chirag claims ‘corruption’ in Nitish’s Har Ghar Nal scheme; Centre had praised Bihar’s tap water planning in May

At the beginning of the current financial year, of Bihar’s 1.86 crore rural households, 32.25 lakh (17.62%) were provided tap connections, leaving behind 1.50 crore households.

Days after Chirag Paswan said that if his party was voted to power, all those involved in “corruption” in the Saat Nischay scheme, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, would be sent to jail, the LJP president claimed “corruption” in Bihar government’s Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal scheme. Follow Bihar elections updates here

Incidentally, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry officials, in May this year, praised the Nitish Kumar government’s efforts for providing tap water to rural households under the Jal Jeevan Mission, as per minutes of a meeting of the Ministry accessed by The Indian Express. Bihar is also the only state that has got such praise from the Ministry.

“The state (Bihar) is planning 100% coverage of districts in the current year which is very appreciable… State has done planning for providing 100% FHTCs (Functional Household Tap Connections) in Aspirational districts, SAGY (Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana) villages, and SC/ ST villages, which is excellent planning,” the report says.

At the beginning of the current financial year, of Bihar’s 1.86 crore rural households, 32.25 lakh (17.62%) were provided tap connections, leaving behind 1.50 crore households. While the Centre has planned on providing tap connections to all rural households by 2024, Bihar has laid out a plan as part of the Union Ministry’s Jal Jeevan Mission to achieve 100% coverage by March 2021.

“In his closing remarks, AS (Additional Secretary) complemented the State officials (of Bihar) for making all out efforts to make the State 100% FHTCs,” the record of the discussion states.

While the target to provide 1.5 crore tap connections is an ambitious one, state officials believe the government’s experience in implementing the Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal scheme can play a crucial role in achieving it. The Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal is among the seven promises (Saat Nishchay) Nitish Kumar made during the 2015 Assembly elections. It was aimed at providing clean drinking water to approximately 2 crore households in the state.

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So far, the Bihar government has launched four schemes — Mukhyamantri Gramin Peyjal Nishchay Yojana; Mukhyamantri Gramin Peyjal Nishchay Yojana (quality affected areas); Mukhyamantri Gramin Peyjal Nishchay Yojana (non-quality affected areas); and Mukhyamantri Shahri Peyjal Nishchay Yojana — to achieve this goal under Saat Nischay.

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