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What is the Swajal Scheme?

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What is the Swajal Scheme?

Swajal Scheme

What is the Swajal Scheme?

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In India, 90% of rural areas face scarcity of water. While the urban areas control the water scarcity by using technology or receiving financial help.

The rural areas are highly dependent on the Government to curb the impact of water scarcity or polluted water. There were numerous plans and schemes tailored to help rural areas to resolve various water-related issues. One such scheme that was established by the Government is “SWAJAL SCHEME”. This scheme came into place on February 2018.

What is the ambition of the Swajal Scheme?

The aim of the Swajal Scheme is to provide safe drinking water to rural citizens. The project works in an integrated manner on a pilot basis.

Note: A pilot scheme or project is the one that is utilised to test an idea before introducing it to a large scale.

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An introduction to objectives of Swajal Scheme

The Scheme has the following objectives:

  • Offer sustainable hygiene and health benefits to the people of rural areas. This is done to improve natural sanitization and water supply services.
  • Test an option for an actual supply-operated mechanism.
  • Improve rural income via time-saving machines.
  • Promote gender awareness and sanitization.
  • Ease duration of rural water supply and sanitization sectors. It will be by the recognization and implementation of the right policy framework.
  • One of the major aim was to empower women who are the main stakeholders of the sanitation/ drinking water sector.

What is the coverage extension of the Scheme?

The “SWAJAL Scheme” is a pilot scheme. It was launched in six states on February 2018. These states included:

  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Bihar
  • Rajasthan
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Uttarakhand, and
  • Maharashtra.

The Scheme later spread to 28 states. It expands to all the 117 aimed Districts. These Districts have Piped Water Supply (PWD) housing with only 25% which is below the national standard of 44%. In these communities, there is a large capacity for PWS growth via Swajal projects.

Groundwater components based on the Scheme

1. MANDATORY COMPONENTS

  • Tube well / Borewell with the casing
  • Pipes
  • Stand post
  • Pump with dry run sensor
  • Recharge Structure
  • Soak Pit
  • Infra for Anganwadis and Schools
  • Set up Customer Care Centers

2. OPTIONAL COMPONENTS

  • Online Chlorination
  • LED lights for withdrawing water at night
  • Water treatment plant for the community
  • Cattle troughs

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Surface water or spring components based on the Scheme

1. MANDATORY COMPONENTS

  • Sustainable surface water source identification
  • Construction of required infrastructure & arrangement of filters
  • Install capacity pump along with dry run sensor
  • Pipes size and length required for water delivery
  • Regulate sensor for pump operation
  • Soak pit for safe wastewater disposal
  • Develop a framework for piped water supply with many hand wash units
  • Set up Customer Care Centers

2. OPTIONAL COMPONENTS

  • A battery charged LED lights for water withdrawal at night
  • Sensor to measure discharge and leakage with required data logging facility
  • Troughs for cattle

What are the investment guidelines under the Swajal Project?

The new investment guidelines under the Swajal project are mentioned below. Assessment and monitoring would be a part of all these steps. The steps are:

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Basic Steps:

The basic step include details and principles distribution of the Swajal Pilot Project in the state. The steps include a collection of the existing database of water sources. It contains the adoption of institutions to carry out the program.

Selection of Scheme:

The coverage of Schemes is under different categories. These categories are pre-workable and identified studies to collect the basic details related to the scheme.

Implement Project Cycle:

Plan and implement Schemes by following a set of defined activities and principles. It involves the community for the project cycle application.

Support for Post-implementation:

Provide post-implementation support to the Gram Panchayat. They undertake maintenance, operation, & check the duration of the Scheme.

What are the actions taken under the Swajal Scheme?

The success of establishing reform is based on a demand-driven strategy/ method. It has contributed a lot in other states to produce such setups. The method has led to the expansion of the projects. Hence, these projects are under the level of the Central Government. It further mainstreams the Swajal principles across the nation. The lessons learnt from the previous models are based on the community centre and demand-driven principles. It includes:

  • Alliance in the village communities, the Government and NGOs. They have facilitated and co-finance the work successfully.
  • If each stage of transparency is monitored and adhered by stakeholders, then the misuse and misappropriation of fund possibilities become minimal.
  • PRIs empowerment is a sustainable and viable option. It helps to scale up the distribution service delivery model.
  • A new mindset & investment is required to change the supply-based model to a demand-based model. It is done at numerous levels to accept the new model.
  • Applicable techniques and good assistance have to be placed in the community management model.
  • Some form of community external support is necessary to establish long-term sustainability.

What is the help provided to the communities under the Program?

The scheme aims to have a single pipe in the village for water distribution. For low-projects, the communities can invest up to Rs. 50 lakhs. It would lower the tax burden on the district with the least maintenance and operation cost.

According to the NRDWP guidelines, the Government of India and the State Government will together participate in the share. These guidelines are applicable to different states. The grant from communities and Gram Panchayat will be against the cost of capital for water supply.

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