Initiatives like ‘Har Ghar Jal’ will show incredible results in nearby future: Praveen Kumar, DM, Burhanpur

Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh, popularly known as ‘Darwaza of Dakhin’ recently rose to limelight by becoming the first certified ‘Har Ghar Jal’ district in the country. Residents from each of the 254 villages under Burhanpur district confirmed installation and fully operational tap water of a prescribed quality water in their homes. The resolution, with a testimony from each house was passed by Gram Sabhas.

The passed resolution ensured that people in the villages have access to safe drinking water through taps, ensuring ‘No One is Left Out.’ 37,241 rural households (36.54 per cent) out of a total of 1,01, 905 households in Burhanpur had pot able drinking water through tap connections at the time of the launch of Jal Jeevan Mission on 15th August 2019. Despite two years of Covid disruption, stakeholders like representatives of Pani Samitis (Panchayat level committee) and district officials remained adamant towards the goal and pulled off an unprecedented feat.

The feat of having tap water safe to drink is not just an achievement but it’s a gateway and indication of the growth which is taking place on a significant rate at district level. The Quotes reached out to Praveen Kumar, District Magistrate of the Burhanpur district who spearheaded the challenging task and pulled it off under an incredible time period. In an exclusive interaction, The Quotes explored the inspiration, challenges and related aspects towards achieving such a daunting task. Excerpts of the conversation.

Q] Congratulation on an incredible feat. Kindly explain to our readers the moment when the Prime Minister hailed the efforts of Buhranpur district administration and announcing it a ‘Har Ghar Jal’ district.

Answer: Undoubtedly, it was a proud moment for all the villagers and every administrator who marked his/her contribution in achieving the goal. When honourable Prime Minister tweeted about Burhanpur, I was attending a Dainik Bhaskar event dedicated to local police. Everyone was delighted to hear the congratulatory tweet from the Prime Minister himself.

Although, we completed the task six months ago but the process of clearance and cross checking takes time due to which the formal announcement took time. However, everyone including politicians, media and villagers present in the attendance wished us and congratulated us.

Q] In 2019, 36.54 per cent of the household had the tap water in Burhanpur district. In less than three years of time, you put in an incredible effort to put Burhanpur district amongst the most progressive districts in the country. How did your team overcome the challenges of pandemic. Kindly shed some light on the journey.

Answer: We allotted the tenders in 2020 and right from the start, Burhanpur’s administration engaged in a pro-active mode to facilitate the deal smoothly. We instructed every stakeholder involved in the mission to cooperate with us, we ensured that the funds are released on time, I personally handled every order and resolved every issue which was creating a delay. The angandwadi staff worked relentlessly to ensure every household takes part in the activity and we don’t leave anyone behind. During the pandemic, our Anganwadi Karyakarta used to visit houses and convey them our intentions, they ensured smooth work without any hassle. I believe the administration was able to pass on the right mindset and approach towards pulling off such an outstanding task within a deadline.

Praveen Kumar, DM, Burhanpur
Q] What kind of initiatives have been taken in the Burhanpur district to preserve water in the area?

Answer: We were always very clear and determined towards providing quality water to the residents. We made efforts to recharge many dry ponds and lakes and synchronise them with mini lakes in several areas of the villages. While providing tap water in the area, we simultaneously worked on around 6000 water conservation activities, established 300 more ponds in the area and lot of community centres which could closely monitor these ponds and lakes. We have also ensured to connect rain water with lakes and ponds so that during rainy season, water facilities can have enough water.

Q] Although, Burhanpur has now achieved a landmark feat but don’t you think it should have been done way before. How do you see current initiatives in terms of water connectivity in rural India?

Answer: Incredible stuff is being done at the moment in rural areas. Initiatives like Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) – Har Ghar Jal, the ministry’s flagship programme, aimed to deliver clean and adequate drinking water to all rural households through individual household tap connections by 2024 is showing significant results.

Some of the important components of the Jal Jeevan Mission are water quality, ensuring safe drinking water to reduce water-borne ailments, community engagement in planning, promotion of groundwater recharge & water conservation, greywater management, skill development & employment generation and focus on the future generation. In the last six to seven years, administration is working on war footing to make crucial changes in life the common man.

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