BJP MP Rajyavardhan Rathore's Claim That Rajasthan Is Last In Tap Water Coverage is Incorrect. Uttar Pradesh is Last
Both Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand ranked below Rajasthan in the percentage of households with tap water supply as of November 1, 2022, per central government data
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha Member of Parliament and former Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, on October 28, 2022 referred to a news article to claim that Rajasthan has the smallest percentage of households with tap water supply.
Under the Central Government's #JalJeevanMission scheme, BJP-ruled states are meeting 100% target in providing tap water to every household, and Rajasthan is at the bottom-most rung, the MP had tweeted in Hindi.
The Union government's Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) dashboard, however, shows that it is BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, and not Rajasthan, with an incumbent Congress government, that has the lowest percentage of households with tap water supply, as of November 1, 2022.
The Jal Jeevan Mission scheme, launched by the Central government in August 2019, aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual tap connections to all households in rural India by 2024. Only 17% of rural households had tap water connections on August 15, 2019, the Ministry of Jal Shakti (power of water) informed Parliament on July 28, 2022.
We checked the ministry's JJM dashboard to verify Rathore's claim and found that it is not Rajasthan but Uttar Pradesh which has the least percentage of households with tap water supply, at 19.6% as on November 1, 2022. In second-last place is Jharkhand, with 24.5%. Rajasthan ranks 31st out of 33 states and union territories – with around 30 lakh of its 1.06 crore households (28.4%) covered with tap water supply.
In 2 of 35 districts, more than 50% of households had tap water supply.
In 15 of 35 districts, less than 25% households had tap water supply.
Coverage varied from 6.3% in Jaisalmer to 51% in Nagaur.
None of the 75 districts had covered more than 50% of the households with tap water supply.
In 54 of 75 districts, less than 25% of households had tap water supply.
The lowest coverage is in Ayodhya district (6.73%) and the highest in Baghpat (49.88%).
Six of the top 10 districts by tap water coverage in UP are within the National Capital Region and thus beneficiaries of inter-state regional planning and development in India's largest urban agglomeration.
Progress in providing tap connections since 2019-20
After JJM was launched, 1.08 lakh rural households (1% of total households) in Rajasthan were provided with tap water connections in the seven months that remained of financial year 2019-20, the JJM dashboard shows. This increased to 6.8 lakh households (6.4%) in 2020-21, even as the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, and dropped marginally to 5.67 lakh (5.36%) in 2021-22, a year marked by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. As of November 1, 2022, 4.8 lakh households (4.54%) have been covered in Rajasthan, with five months remaining in the current financial year.
Uttar Pradesh covered 4.65 lakh rural households (1.76%) with tap water connections in 2019-20 and another 19.15 lakh households (7.24%) in 2020-21, the year the Covid-19 pandemic started. In the year of the second Covid-19 wave, however, coverage fell, with just 6.58 households (2.48%) receiving tap water connections in 2021-22. Uttar Pradesh's performance has improved in the current financial year, with 16.34 lakh households covered (6.18%) and five months to go.
FactChecker contacted Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore for comment on our findings, via email and telephone, but have not received a response. We also reached out to the Rajasthan Chief Minister's Office and Ministry of Jalshakti for comment via email, but have not heard back from them either by the time of publishing this article. When we do, we will update the article.