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National Sub-Mission to provide safe drinking water

This topic contains the information related to National Sub-Mission Guidelines to provide safe drinking water

The National Sub-Mission to provide safe drinking water is to be completed on mission mode before March 2020. The urgency of implementation of the mission is due to:

  1. Criticality and urgency of the matter
  2. Requirement of significant increase in operational efficiency
  3. Requirement of additional funds, robust monitoring and surveillance of those
  4. Requirement of special technology, manpower and strategy to achieve the goal


  • To cover of all the arsenic & fluoride affected habitations with safe & perennial surface water based piped Water supply schemes as the permanent & sustainable solution.

Sub-mission phases

The sub-mission will have three phases namely:

  1. Diagnostic phase: To correctly determine the action plan based on most recent and authentic data
  2. Implementation phase: Roll-out of area specific schemes as per guidelines
  3. Sustain phase: To ensure that schemes are running successfully with adequate monitoring and surveillance

Standard drinking water quality

Bureau of Indian Standards has set specifications in its IS-10500-2012 standards for drinking water. However, this standard is only voluntary in nature and not legally supported for enforcement. This standard has two limits:

  • Desirable limits
  • Maximum permissible or cause for rejection limits

If any parameter exceeds the cause for rejection limit, that water is considered as contaminated. Broadly speaking, water is defined as contaminated if it is biologically contaminated (presence of microscopic organisms such as algae, Zoo-plankton, flagillates, E-coli etc) or chemical contamination exceeds permissible limits (e.g. excess fluoride D1.5mg/l), salinity i.e.,

  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) (>2,000mg/l),
  • Dissolved iron D0.3mg/l),
  • Arsenic [>0.01mg/l),
  • Nitrates (>45mg/l) etc.).

In rural areas, more than 85% of drinking water sources are ground water based and in the short term, chemical constituents in groundwater do not change much, therefore testing once in a year for chemical contaminants is adequate. Testing for bacteriological contamination is recommended 4 times a year, once in every season. However, every year it should be carried out at least twice i.e. during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons.

States affected by Fluoride and Arsenic contamination

State Arsenic (>0.01 mg/L) Fluoride (>1.5 mg/L)
Habitations Populations
Habitations Populations
Andhra Pradesh - - 419 292899
Arunachal Pradesh 334 22479 - -
Assam 3498 1236964 53 19729
Bihar 1049 1666039 848 1128975
Chattisgarh - - 66 24484
Gujarat - - 11 19077
Haryana 45 142944 195 487889
Himachal Pradesh 150 32752 - -
Jammu & Kashmir 2 3642 - -
Jharkhand 123 115862 953 482050
Karnataka 12 47141 755 479224
Kerala 3 7651 36 91996
Madhya pradesh 401 233444 39 5519
Maharashtra 1 87 52 112297
Meghalaya 1 169 - -
Odisha 2 42 62 21609
Pinjab 491 590103 283 335296
Rajasthan - - 4925 2985305
Telangana - - 966 1299331
Tripura 154 159572 115 204445
Utta pradesh 6733 8950460 837 517509
West bengal 13000 13210469 10615 8507634

Steps to roll out the project

  1. The action plan will contain unambiguous timelines, proposed schemes and corresponding village coverage, scheme wise funding requirements, potential sources of funding and tasks to be executed over the course of next four years to ensure the state is Arsenic/Fluoride free.
  2. Identification of habitations: Identify the habitations, affected by water contaminated by Arsenic and Fluoride. The habitations will be geo-tagged for all future uses. The geo-tagged location will be accessible on the 'Mobile Application', Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) for real time monitoring.
  3. Priorities may be as below

    • Habitations not covered by any other existing long term programme of central or state government.
    • Habitations having higher degree of contamination according to IMIS data.
  4. Identification of Source: State has to identify, geo-tag and select the source on the basis of following parameters
    • Source/Aquifer must be contaminant free
    • Source must be perennial in nature
    • Source must be the most economically feasible (least lifecycle cost) option which has the ability to provide clean drinking water in perpetuity
  5. Quality testing of source: States have to follow the Uniform Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Protocol published and widely distributed by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  6. Preparation of Schemes: On the basis of identification of habitation and source, State has to prepare a proposal.

Mandatory Requirements

  1. Per capita cost of supply of safe and adequate drinking water to the end user.
  2. Operation and Maintenance cost.
  3. Cost of implementation for all en-route non-arsenic/non-fluoride affected habitations, towns, industries, and cities should be borne fully by the concerned State Government, Also clear break up of capital costs for rural, en-route non-arsenic/non-fluoride affected habitations, urban town/city and industries must be provided.
  4. Detailed phase wise and time bound plan.
  5. The State should firmly commit in providing, State matching share corresponding to release of Central Share for Arsenic and Fluoride affected habitations and entire share corresponding to en-route non-arsenic/ non-fluoride affected habitations.
  6. Ground Level Service Reservoir (GLSR) / Over Head Tanks (OHT / ESR) should not be far away from the source to minimize raising mains.
  7. Ground Level Service Reservoir (GLSR) / Over Head Tanks (OHT / ESR) should be located so as to give adequate distribution by gravity to cover maximum number of habitations.
  8. The schemes should have recycling/reuse of filter bed washed water in Water Treatment Plants (WTP).
  9. The schemes should have sufficient capacity of chlorination plants including online booster chlorination plants, so that end user should get purified /safe water,
  10. All the mega water supply schemes shall have dedicated Three Phase electrical power Supply.
  11. All Water Treatment Plants (WTP's) shall necessarily have a basic level water quality testing laboratory with adequate manpower.
  12. It is up to the State Government to decide the service level of water supply delivery, however in no case the service level shall not be less than 40 liter per capita per day (LPCD) based on current population,
  13. All mega schemes shall be commissioned within a span of 24 months from the date of award of work.
  14. The schemes should have the provision for bulk water meter before the entry point of Gram Panchayat / Habitation.


  1. It is advised to use renewable energy like Solar power / solar panels/solar light wherever necessary and required to minimize the O&M cost and to the save electricity,
  2. For all mega schemes utility of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for real time monitoring may be exploded.
  3. It is advised to have sufficient number of flow meters in the scheme.
  4. It is advisable that, the schemes should be designed so that, it makes minimum energy consumption.
  5. It is advised to have necessary provision for extension, in future.
  6. It is advised to have a suitable water tariff plan, if not existing already

Source: Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation

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