In a welcoming development, the hamlets of Arunachal Pradesh situated at the international border between India and Bhutan got access to water supply in 2020. Broksarthang, a small village in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh were facing severe water shortage until now owing to its high altitude. The Brokpa community that inhibited the village is occupied in Yak rearing and a nomadic lifestyle.
Under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), the Public Health Engineering Department of the state provided treated water supply to all the households of the village in 2020. The administration involved the community members too in the planning and implementation of the scheme as the JJM mandates the involvement of the local community in planning, implementation, operation and maintenance of water supply schemes. In the case of the village of Arunachal Pradesh, the locals contributed the 5% of in-village component of the water supply scheme in the form of labour.
According to the statement by the state administration, the authorities faced challenges in planning and construction of the project due to the harsh weather conditions ranging from the sub-zero temperature in winter and incessant rains in monsoon.
"Construction part was the most difficult one because the skilled masons and labourers are very scarce to get and secondly they kept on leaving the worksite due to extreme cold and lack of basic facilities. Monitoring and transportation of materials during construction were equally difficult due of frozen icy road, zero visibility due to fog and frequent landslides. But braving all these odds, the work was completed as envisaged in the designed scheme," the statement read.
Besides the structural challenges, the administration also faced behavioural challenges which include convincing the community to undergo a behavioural change who were reluctant to shun their beliefs and lifestyle at the beginning.
Jal Jeevan Mission is a project by the Centre to provide safe and adequate drinking tap water connection to every household in the rural areas of the country by 2024 at a service level of 55 litres per capita per day. The mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 2019. PM Modi has also written to all sarpanches and gram pradhans of the country for more effective implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), saying its goal can be fully realised with the help of village community leaders.
The programme will also implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through grey-water management, water conservation, rainwater harvesting. The Jal Jeevan Mission will be based on a community approach to water and will include extensive Information, Education and communication as a key component of the mission.
(Image credit: PTI)