12 Ladakh Villages Will Now Get 24x7 Piped Water As Part Of The Centre’s Jal Jeevan Mission

Although representing a visitor utopia of towering peaks, colourful temples, and perpetual poplars, the little town of Leh, nestled in the northern Himalayas at an elevation of 11,562 feet and adjoining China, is merciless. Snow still blankets most of the Ladakh area, where the town is situated. The winds are brutally cold. Cell phone service is patchy.

Underneath the flagship Jal Jeevan Mission, government engineers and contractors have linked 12 of the region's 60 villages to 24x7 water supply in the chilly desert, bucking odds that have typically placed Leh adrift in terms of contemporary amenities.

By 2024, the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) plan intends to provide a functioning tap water connection to every rural family in the country. As per the UN-Water study from 2014, over one hundred and twenty million Indian families probably lacks accessibility to potable drinking water near their homes, the greatest number in the globe.

As per the Census statistics, India has one hundred eighty-nine million rural homes, and the rush to provide water supply to each family is on. As of November 10, roughly 84.7 million homes have access to a reliable piped water system source. This represents 44 per cent of the total of all rural families.

Indians' health depends on a growing network of tapped drinking water. As per the research team Subitha Lakshminarayanan and Ramakrishnan Jayalakshmy of Puducherry's Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research and Indira Gandhi Medical College, respectively, poor-quality water is the primary reason for illnesses like diarrhoea, which is the nation's third foremost reason of childhood death rates.

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In the nationwide effort to deliver tapped water, several locations, such as Leh in the northern Union territory of Ladakh, stood out for their hard topography and topographical challenges.

Aside from that, the area is under increased military surveillance due to a smouldering boundary conflict with China.

Because there was no motorable road in one of these isolated villages, ferrying personnel and machinery to seek a reliable water source and install the transmission system was the most difficult operation.

Air operations were utilised to transport labour, engineers, and equipment to this area, said Bharat Lal, the assistant secretary in the ministry of Jal Shakti, which manages the initiative. High-tech instruments to find water sources were also carried by air, along with high-density polyethene pipes.

The majority of settlements lacked power, making it difficult to provide a viable tapped water service. Power is required to run motor technology and monitor sensors. To tackle the issue, engineers in Leh created solar power units.

Communities near the so-called Line of Actual Control, which runs parallel to the India-China boundary, are getting prioritised.

Solar power units, according to district judge Skrikant Suse, ensure that the region's piped water supplies are carbon-free infrastructure. This renders it completely eco-friendly.

5,425 of Ladakh's 24,767 homes now have access to running water.

The nationwide agricultural potable water initiative has been allocated 10001 crores in the Union Budget for 2019-20. A total of 11500 crores has been allocated for 2020-21. The initiative was allocated 50,000 crores in the Union budget for 2021-22.

Altogether, experts suggest that maintaining the durability of water supply sources is a major problem for the project. Villages linked to water sources in past endeavours to supply drinking water supply have returned to no-water status after a few years owing to water scarcity.