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Despite the fact that there are still a large number of Non-Covered and Partially Covered habitations in the State, growing acceptance of demand driven water supply schemes in the State is heartening from the perspective of WATSAN reforms. The State Government has planned for saturating all these habitations by water supply schemes and also for covering all the villages by the sanitation program in an integrated manner. The main financial contribution for this purpose will be from the State Government funds followed by the assistance from Government of India. A part of the MTDP, nearly 25-30% funds will be received from the World Bank as International Development Association (IDA) credit on soft terms. The primary stakeholders are the public at large under guidance of democratically elected three tier Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) specially the Gram Panchayats (GPs). The formation of User Water and Sanitation Sub Committee (UWSSC) for individual schemes is being facilitated by the GPs and the UWSSCs are beginning to play the cutting edge role in implementation, collection of water charges, operation of schemes and maintenance of schemes. Taking a cue from the success of SWAJAL, the Department of Drinking Water Supply, Government of India launched the National Rural Drinking Water Program (NRDWP) in all states across India from 1st April 2009. It is a matter of pride for the SWAJAL team that the philosophy of Community and Demand Driven Approach has been adopted across the rural areas of the country in the Drinking Water Supply Sector.

As a unique feature, the Swajal-II program is also receiving the involvement of communities to some extent even in Multi Village Schemes (MVSs). The Operation and Maintenance of MVS assets inside the village boundary are to be done by the UWSSCs. This SWAp philosophy is bringing in systematic changes in the management of water supply in rural areas because most of the funds for new investment are being routed through a committee headed by the chairperson of Zila Panchayats. This new arrangement is also ensuring devolution of additional roles and responsibilities to the PRIs.

Though, the Swacch Bharat Mission (SBM) in the State has taken off and demand for individual household sanitary latrines is increasing day by day, yet, the campaign requires a greater effort for motivating people. Keeping this challenge in view, local cultural groups are being engaged for education, information and cultural activities and the local shopkeepers are being involved as stakeholders for providing rural toilet pans in the remote villages. The stress is now being laid on “Behaviour Change” and for this Behaviour Change Communication has been adopted. The focal point of IEC is Inter Personal Communication. The District Project Management Units (DPMUs) have launched a program for training local masons in construction of low-cost toilets in rural areas. Involvement of other linked government departments is also being done through convergence and dove-tailing. We are confident of good results in the near future as the whole program is being approached in an integrated manner, i.e. both drinking water and sanitation simultaneously. Thus, focusing on a saturation approach for each individual village (Gram Panchayat), this is expected to yield better completion results for villages in attaining Open Defecation Free status. The State has received 525 ‘Nirmal Gram Puraskar’ for attaining ‘open defecation free’ status till now.

A detailed program for capacity development of all stakeholders like PRIs, officers from Sector Institutions (Jal Nigam & Jal Sansthan), Non Government Organizations (NGOs) etc. has been taken up for facilitating the public participatory program in the State. So far, the program has been getting an excellent response from the PRIs, nevertheless, it can hardly be over-emphasized that the ultimate success of the program will also depend on the active participation of the elected public representatives even in future. The sector institutions and all others involved in the activities have to prove their facilitation capacities. The project received ‘Satisfactory’ rating by the World Bank on its Mid-term review (Oct 2009) and has now received 'Highly Satisfactory' rating for Implementation Progress in its 12th Implementation Support Mission (May 2013). This level of achievement needs to be maintained so that the improved service delivery through the PRIs can be sustained.

The state was hited by the natural disaster in June, 2013 in all the districts of the state in some form or other. The total  No. of Water Supply Schemes 2769, No of IHHL's 2169, Soakpit 1676 and Drain in Mtr. 31247 was damaged ,which are restored and completed for long term sustainability in the rural areas of the state.

 
Director, Swajal (PMU)