The Nal Se Jal scheme, meant to expand the network of rural tap water connections, has been allocated ₹60,000 core to cover 3.8 crore households in 2022-23, mentioned finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget today.

The minister said the tap water scheme, launched in August 2019, now covers around 8.8 crore households. In 2019, the year the scheme was launched, only 3.23 crore (17%) of 19.22 crore rural households had tap water connections and the Modi government’s target is to cover the remaining 16 crore (83%) households by 2024, the year the country goes into elections.

Besides the budgetary allocation, the 15th Finance Commission has allocated grants of ₹1.42 lakh crore to gram panchayats for tap water and sanitation projects between FY22 and FY26.

Of the ₹3.6 lakh crore earmarked for the scheme over five years, the Centre will share 50% of the cost, while states will bear the remainder 50%. In the case of union territories, the Centre will provide 100% funding.

Priority to drinking water and sanitation in schools under Jal Jeevan Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission, as well as under Samagra Shiksha Scheme have been instrumental in providing required resources and creating these assets in schools. As on January 19, 2022, under Jal Jeevan Mission 8,39,443 schools were provided tap water supply, state the Economic Survey for 2022-23.

Haryana, Goa and Telangana, besides the union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, have achieved 100% tap water connections in households. In all, 96 districts across the country have 100% tap water connections under the scheme.

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