Three lakh rural habitations lack quality drinking water supply

News:According to data presented by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, it has been found that over three lakh rural habitations lack quality drinking water supply.


Key Highlights from the data:

  • Around three lakh rural habitations across the country continue to be deprived of the government’s minimum prescribed provision of 40 litres per capita per day (lpcd) of potable drinking water with assured quality.
  • Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam top the list where the coverage is facing quality issues or seeing diminished supply.
  • The coverage was monitored in terms of habitations having provision of a minimum 40 lpcd with sources at a reasonable distance.

Additional information:

About National Rural Drinking Water Programme(NRDWP):

  • The National Rural Drinking Water Programme(NRDWP) is a Centrally Sponsored scheme launched in 2009.
  • It aims to provide every rural person with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other domestic basic needs on a sustainable basis which is to be readily and conveniently accessible at all times and in all situations.
  • This initiative is in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 6 which says that ‘By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all’.
  • The Fund-sharing pattern between the Centre and the States/UTs for the programme is (a)100% for the Union Territories (b)90:10 for the Himalayan & the northeastern States and (c)50:50 for other States.

Provision for SCs and STs

  • The NRDWP has special provisions to ensure coverage of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe population with potable water supply. 
  • 22% and 10% of the funds are earmarked for the use in SC and ST dominated areas respectively. 
  • The criteria for fund allocation to States under the NRDWP, the rural SC and ST population of the State has a weightage of 10%. 
  • Thus States with higher SC and ST population get a higher allocation of NRDWP funds.

Other initiatives taken under NRDWP:

National Water Quality Sub-Mission (NWQSM)

  • National Water Quality Sub-Mission had been launched in 2017 to provide safe drinking water to about 28,000 arsenic / fluoride affected habitations over a span of 4 years.


  • SWAJAL is a demand driven and community centred program to provide sustainable access to drinking water to people in rural areas.
  • It is a community demand driven, decentralized programme for aspirational districts identified by NITI Aayog.

National Centre for Drinking Water, Sanitation and Quality(NCDWS&Q)

  • A National Centre for Drinking Water, Sanitation and Quality (formerly known as International Centre for Drinking Water Quality) registered under the Societies Registration Act. 1860 is set up at Kolkata as an autonomous Institution under the Ministry.

Note:Water is a State subject and rural water supply has been included in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution among the subjects that may be entrusted to Panchayats by the States.