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National Rural Drinking Water Programme

Updated on :  

08 min read.

The government launched the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP), a centrally-sponsored scheme, in 2009. It aims to provide adequate and safe water for cooking, drinking and other domestic needs to rural people on a sustainable basis. The NRDWP modified the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) and subsumed the earlier sub-missions or schemes.

Subsequently, the government restructured and continued the NRDWP to make it competitive, outcome-based and better monitored by focusing on sustainability to ensure quality service delivery to the rural people. Currently, the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti implements the NRDWP.

Objectives of NRDWP

  • Provide adequate and safe water for cooking, drinking and other domestic needs to rural people on a sustainable basis.
  • Ensure permanent drinking water in rural India.
  • Enable all households to access and use adequate and safe drinking water within a reasonable distance. 
  • Enable communities to keep surveillance and monitor drinking water sources.
  • Ensure reliability, portability, sustainability, equity, convenience and consumer preference to be the principles while planning for a community-based water supply system.
  • Provide drinking water facility to Gram Panchayats, especially piped water supply, to Panchayats that have achieved open defecation-free status on a priority basis.
  • Ensure all anganwadis and government schools have access to safe drinking water.
  • Provide an enabling environment and support for local communities and Panchayat Raj Institutions to manage their village drinking water systems and sources.
  • Provide access to information online through a reporting mechanism and place the information in the public domain to bring informed decision-making and transparency.

Components of NRDWP

The various components of NRDWP are as follows:

  • Coverage for providing adequate and safe drinking water supply to partially served, unserved and slipped back habitations.
  • Operation and Maintenance (O&M) for repair, running and replacement costs of drinking water supply projects.
  • Sustainability encourages states to achieve the security of drinking water at the local level.
  • Provide portable drinking water to habitations affected by water quality.
  • Support to activities like District Water and Sanitation Mission (DWSM), Water and Sanitation Support Organisations (WSSO), Block Resource Centres (BRC), Human Resource Development (HRD), Information Education and Communication (IEC), Management Information System (MIS), Research and Development (R&D), etc.
  • Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance (WQMS) for monitoring water quality in field-level habitations and for upgrading and setting up laboratories at district, state and sub-district levels.

It is envisaged that state governments allocate 47% of their funds to coverage, 15% to O&M, 20% to water quality, 10% for sustainability, 5% for support activities and 3% for WQMS.

Funding Pattern Under NRDWP

The Central government allots the funds under the NRDWP to the state governments based on the following criteria:

  • Rural population.
  • Rural SC and ST population.
  • States under DPAP, DDP, HADP, special category and hill states in rural areas.
  • The rural population managing the rural drinking water supply schemes weighted by a Management Devolution Index (MDI).

Achievements of NRDWP

  • As on 1 April 2019, 81% of rural habitations had been completely covered at 40 lpcd, and 47% were fully covered as per 55 lpcd.
  • The Union Cabinet approved a sum of Rs.23,050 crore for the programme for the 2017-18 to 2019-20 period.
  • As on 1 April 2019, 33% of rural habitations accounting for 41% of India’s rural population, were fully covered by the Public Water System (PWS).
  • In the Union Budget 2019, the government announced the Har Ghar Jal scheme under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to ensure PWS for every rural household by 2024.
  • In the Union budget 2019, the government promised the Piped Water Supply (PWS) to every rural household by 2024 under the JJM.

Since August 2019, the government, in partnership with states, has been implementing the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) after subsuming the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) to make provision of potable water to all rural households through tap water connection by 2024. The estimated outlay of the mission is Rs.3.60 lakh crore, out of which the Central share is Rs.2.08  lakh crore.

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