Bihar has emerged as one of the top performing states in terms of providing safe drinking water through taps, with 87 per cent of its rural households having access to the amenity, a key aide of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Wednesday but insisted it was largely on account of a state scheme and not the Centre's Jal Jeevan Mission.
State water resources minister Sanjay Kumar Jha made the averment on his official twitter handle, sharing a newspaper report that put Bihar among the "top four" states of the country in terms of availability of tap water to rural households.
The report was based on data provided by the website of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), an ambitious project of the Narendra Modi government launched two years back which aims at providing tap water to all rural households by 2024.
According to the JJM data, Bihar, often accused of administrative lethargy, accounts for 1.46 crore water connections out of 4.73 crore for the entire country, placing it well above the national average of 41.57 per cent since the launch of the mission in 2019.
Only Goa and Telangana with a 100 per cent success rate besides Haryana (99.25 per cent) have performed better than Bihar.
Besides, the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu have provided water connections to cent per cent households, according to the JJM website.
The JJM website shows that it has been a giant leap for Bihar, one of the most populous states in the country, where only 1.84 per cent households had access to tap water as on August 15, 2019. Since then, a staggering number of over 1.46 crore water connections have been added.
Mr Jha, however, insisted that much of the state's spectacular success was owing to "Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal" scheme of the Bihar chief minister which predated the Centre's JJM.
According to Mr Jha, the scheme was launched in September 2016 and was responsible for ensuring availability of tap water in most rural areas of the state.
In a tweet, he said, under the Jal Jeevan Mission "Bihar has done work in 4,891 wards out of a total of 1,14,651 rural wards. 1,346 wards taken up under the erstwhile National Rural Drinking Water Supply Programme of GOI. Remaining 1,08,414 wards covered under state government's Har Ghar Nal Ka jal scheme".
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)