The government on Monday said over 4 crore rural households have been provided tap water supply under the 'Jal Jeevan Mission' since its launch.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the scheme on August 15, 2019 to provide tap water supply to every rural home by 2024.
"Now, 7.24 crore (38 per cent) i.e. more than 1/3rd of rural households are getting potable water through taps. Goa has become the first state in the country to provide 100 per cent tap water supply followed by Telangana and Andaman & Nicobar Islands," a release said.
The efforts of states and union territories (UTs) have helped Jal Jeevan Mission provide assured tap water supply to every family living in 56 districts and over 86,000 villages, it said.
States and UTs are now competing with each other and focusing on the target to ensure that every household in the country gets safe drinking water.
Jal Jeevan Mission aims to provide drinking water supply in adequate quantity of prescribed quality to every rural household on a regular and long-term basis at affordable service delivery charges leading to improvement in living standards of rural communities.
While implementing the scheme, states are giving priority to water quality-affected areas, villages in drought prone and desert areas, scheduled caste/scheduled tribe majority villages, aspirational districts and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna villages.
"Since children are more susceptible to water-borne diseases, a campaign has been launched to provide tap water supply in schools and ashramshalas and anganwadi centres across the country so that whenever the schools reopen, children are provided with safe water for drinking. Tap water to be used for cooking mid-day meal, providing handwashing facility and usage in toilets," the release said.
Efforts are also being made under Jal Jeevan Mission to ensure that safe drinking water is provided to all quality-affected villages, especially arsenic and fluoride affected rural habitations. The scheme gives highest priority to potability of drinking water, which will reduce water-borne diseases and improve health of people.
"States/UTs are upgrading water quality testing laboratories and opening them to public enabling them to get their water samples tested at nominal rates," it said.