Jal Jeevan Mission: Ashok Gehlot writes to Centre, urges alteration in Centre-state funds ratio

Jal Jeevan Mission: Ashok Gehlot writes to Centre, urges alteration in Centre-state funds ratio
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. (File)

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has written to Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, urging him to alter the ratio of the Centre-state share in the Jal Jeevan Mission.

In his letter to Shekhawat, the Jodhpur MP, Gehlot has said that the ratio should be changed from the current 50:50 to 90:10. He has said that when it comes to the Centre-state ratio, Rajasthan has been put in the same bracket as other states like Bihar, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. However, considering the climate of the state, it is not apt to equate it with other states.

He said that Rajasthan is area-wise not only the largest state, but also has comparatively less water compared to the other states it has been bracketed with. Moreover, as much as 85 per cent of the state is in a “dark zone”.

Gehlot also said that being a desert state, the villages and hutments are far away from each other, hence the cost of schemes for drinking water here is much more than in other states, reminding Shekhawat that being a resident of Rajasthan, he is quite familiar with the issue of water scarcity. As per Gehlot, till 2013, the Central and state assistance under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme for desert areas was in 90:10 ratio, which was decreased to 60:40 and then to 50:50. Approved by the Union government in August last year, the Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide functional household tap connection (FHTC) to every rural household by 2024.

As per the Press Information Bureau, out of 17.87 crore rural households in the country, about 14.6 crore – which accounts for 81.67 per cent – are yet to have household water tap connections. The total project cost is estimated to be about Rs 3.60 lakh crore. The Central share will be Rs 2.08 lakh crore, and the fund sharing pattern is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern states; 50:50 for other states, and 100 per cent for Union Territories.