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Bihar Govt.

       National Rural Drinking Water Programme
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       Provision of safe drinking water is a basic necessity. 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. Considering the magnitude of the problem, the Central Government has been supplementing the efforts of the State Governments through the centrally sponsored Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) since 1972–73. The Eleventh Plan identifies the major issues that need tackling during this period as the problem of sustainability, water availability and supply, poor water quality, centralized vs. decentralized approaches and financing of O&M cost while ensuring equity in regard to gender, socially and economically weaker sections of the society, school children, socially vulnerable groups such as pregnant and lactating mothers, specially disabled senior citizens etc. In order to address the above issues, the rural water supply programme and guidelines have been revised w.e.f. 1.4.2009 as the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).

     The Government has been progressively increasing the annual central outlay for the rural water supply sector over the years. The NRDWP (erstwhile ARWSP) is one of the six components of Bharat Nirman, which was conceived as a plan to be implemented in four years, from 2005–06 to 2008–09 for building rural infrastructure. During the Bharat Nirman Phase-I period, 55,067 uncovered habitations and about 3.31 lakh slipped-back habitations were to be covered and 2.17 lakh quality-affected habitations were to be addressed. Tackling arsenic and fluoride contamination had been given the first priority.

     During the Eleventh Plan, it has been decided to focus on major issues of sustainability in water availability, poor water quality, centralized vs. decentralized approaches and financing of O&M cost on equitable basis with full consideration to ensuring equity in regard to gender, socially and economically weaker sections of the society, school children, socially vulnerable groups such as pregnant and lactating mothers, differently abled persons, senior citizens, etc. Accordingly, revised guidelines have been formulated.

Paradigm shift in NRDWP.

The following paradigm shift has been made in the National Rural Drinking Water Programme guidelines for ensuring sustainable and environmentally friendly drinking water supply projects:

  • Move forward from achieving habitation level coverage towards household level drinking water coverage.
  • Move away from over dependence on single source to multiple sources through conjunctive use of surface water, groundwater and rainwater harvesting.
  • Focus on ensuring sustainability in drinking water schemes and prevent slip back.
  • Encourage water conservation including revival of traditional water bodies
  • Achieve household level drinking water security through formulation of proper water demand and budgeting at the village level.
  • Convergence of all water conservation programme at the village level.
  • Move consciously away from high cost treatment technologies for tackling arsenic & fluoride contamination to development of alternative sources in respect of arsenic and alternate sources/dilution of aquifers through rainwater harvesting in respect of tackling fluoride contamination.
  • Treatment of catchment area of drinking water sources through simple measures such as fencing and effective implementation of TSC programme, prevention of sewage/animal waste leaching into surface/ underground water sources, promoting ecological sanitation to reduce use of inorganic fertilizers so as to prevent nitrate pollution in drinking water sources.
  • Promotion of simple to use technologies such as terracotta based filtration systems, solar distillation and dilution through rainwater harvesting for tackling iron, salinity and suspended particulate matters.
  • Linkage of water quality monitoring and surveillance with the Jalmani scheme for implementation of standalone drinking water purifications systems in rural schools.
  • The five grass root level workers trained for testing water quality to be the ambassadors for achieving household level drinking water security in rural India.
  • Move away from offline unconsolidated figures to online data entry and linkage with Census village codes.

In order to ensure operationalization of the approaches mentioned above, the following main changes have been incorporated in the Rural Water Supply Programme.

  • Awarding performance rather than non-performance of States. This is done by removing the weightage for the number of uncovered/partially covered habitations and water quality affected habitations in the allocation criteria for central assistance to the States.
  • Introduction of an incentive of 10% of the NRDWP allocation for the States that transfer the management of rural drinking water schemes (RWS) to the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
  • Increasing the percentage allocation for “Sustainability” component from 5% to 20% for implementing sustainability measures in RWS projects by the States. This component is funded on a 100% Central share basis as against the 50% Central share in regard to other components.
  • Introduction of a new component of Support Fund with 5% allocation. Setting up of Water and Sanitation Support Organisation by each State to take up support activities focusing on software activities like awareness generation, capacity building, water quality testing, MIS etc.
  • In order to encourage the States of North-East and J&K, that have limited resources, the fund sharing pattern for them has been liberalized from the existing 50:50 (Centre to State) to 90:10 (Centre to State)

Components of the NRDWP

To meet the emerging challenges in the rural drinking water sector relating to availability, sustainability and quality, the components under the programme are NRDWP (Coverage), NRDWP (Sustainability), NRDWP (Water quality), NRDWP (DDP areas), NRDWP (Natural calamity) and NRDWP (Support). In accordance with the policy of Government of India, the Department of Drinking Water Supply has earmarked 10% of the total Central outlay for the programme for the NE States. The earmarking of funds by DDWS and the Centre: State share in funding, will be as follows:


Distribution of annual budgetary allocation

Center : State Ratio

RWSP (Coverage)


50:50 *
90:10 **

RWSP (Sustainability) – Swajaldhara ***



RWSP (Water Quality)



RWSP (Natural Calamity)



RWSP (DDP Areas)



Component Distribution of annual budgetary allocation Center : State Ratio RWSP (Support)



Operation & Maintenance (O&M)



* For all States/ Union Territories except North Eastern States (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura) and Jammu & Kashmir.
** For North Eastern States (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura) and Jammu & Kashmir.
*** Swajaldhara to be continued and subsumed under RWSP (Sustainability) component.

At the State Level the programme funds available for different components will be as follows:

  • 10% for O&M with 50:50 cost sharing basis between Centre & State.
  • 20% for sustainability on 100% Central share basis.
  • 45% for coverage and 20% for water quality on 50:50 cost sharing basis.
  • 5% for Support activities

Criteria for State wise allocation of NRDWP funds
Under the NRDWP guidelines the criteria for inter-state allocation of NRDWP funds are given below:

Sl. No.




Total Rural Population 2001 Census



Rural SC and ST Population 2001 Census



Rural population managing drinking water supply schemes



States under DDP, DPAP, HADP and special category Hill States in terms of rural areas


The 20% of NRDWP allocation meant for “Sustainability” will be used to encourage states to achieve drinking water security through sustainability of sources and systems. The states will be asked to prepare district-wise Drinking Water Security Plans to take up sustainability structures by convergence with MNREGS, Integrated Watershed Management Programme and fund the gaps in the plan from the Sustainability component of NRDWP. This component will be implemented in the form of decentralized, community-managed, demand-driven programme on Sector Reform/ Swajaldhara principles.

For the year 2010-11, the States have been asked to prepare Annual Action Plans for NRDWP focusing on completion of ongoing schemes, priority to coverage of uncovered and quality affected habitations, sustainability measures, taking up support activities of awareness generation, training, capacity building to empower rural communities to manage their drinking water supply schemes. The Department will hold discussions with the States with a view to ensuring that the Guidelines and priorities of the programme are incorporated in the plans.

Monitoring mechanism

Online monitoring system has been introduced to strengthen monitoring mechanism and ensure transparency. State Governments have been urged to report the physical and financial progress online on a monthly basis and update the habitation wise data on an annual basis. State officials responsible for online data entry have been imparted training to undertake this task. Besides, periodic review meetings are conducted to review the physical and financial progress in the implementation of schemes in all the states.

After launch of Bharat Nirman Programme, from 2005 onwards, there was a fundamental change in the monitoring process whereby villages/ habitations have been targeted by names for coverage (and not in terms of cumulative numbers as before). Their physical progress in terms of asset creation are being monitored. The system is accessible in the online monitoring page of the Department’s website –

The Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) is a comprehensive web based information system, that enables the states and the center, to monitor the progress of coverage of habitations, rural schools and anganwadis, through a common monitoring format. In addition to this, the progress of Sustainability projects and Sub-Mission projects (for tackling quality affected habitations) can also be monitored. This system also gives the list of quality-affected habitations and the list of slipped back habitations along with reasons for slippage. The list of Government, Government Aided and local body aided schools and anganwadis in all villages is displayed indicating the status of drinking water and sanitation facility that is available. Linking of habitations covered with potable water supply with census villages on the IMIS platform is underway.

The State Governments have been urged to enter the physical and financial progress online on a monthly basis and update the habitation wise data on an annual basis. The State officials responsible for online data entry have been imparted training to undertake this job. Besides, periodic review meetings, video-conferences, State wise reviews and monitoring visits are conducted to review the physical and financial progress in the implementation of schemes in the states.

Involvement of PRIs

As per the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution, the responsibility for drinking water may be devolved to the panchayati raj institutions (PRIs). In many States, rural drinking water schemes have been transferred to PRIs for operation and maintenance. To encourage this aspect and involve PRIs in O&M, the Government of India has revised its guidelines for the rural water supply scheme to provide for a 10% weightage in allocation of funds to States. This weightage is given for the rural population managing their water supply schemes.
Also, to reduce the tendency of State Departments to operate schemes on their own and not transfer them to PRIs, the O&M component has been reduced from 15% to 10%. The States are also advised to set up corpus O&M funds at the PRI level, in which funds of 12th Finance commission, user charges and tariffs, and O&M funds of Center and State can be put and used by the PRIs.

Norms for providing drinking water in rural areas
The following norms are recommended for providing drinking water to rural population in the habitations:

  • 40 liters per capita per day (lpcd) of safe drinking water for human beings.
  • 30 lpcd additional for cattle in the Desert Development Programme Areas.
  • One hand-pump or stand post for every 250 persons.
  • The water source should exist within the habitation / within 1.6 km in the plains and within 100 mtrs. elevation in the hilly areas.

These norms prescribe the basic requirement per capita, taking into account the requirement for drinking, bathing, abolution and washing clothes and utensils. The norms for urban areas is higher, at 170 lpcd, as more water is required for flushing and sewerage.

Norms under NRDWP

The basic norms remain the same – providing atleast 40 lpcd. However, from 2009, the service level has been left to the States to decide, with the condition that the basic 40 lpcd level should be achieved for all habitations, before taking up higher norms for any area.

Support activities under NRDWP

Under NRDWP certain concurrent activities are required to be taken up along with commissioning of water supply schemes. These are called Support activities and are brought under one head called “Water and Sanitation Support Organiation (WSSO) . WSSO include WQM&S, R&D, State Technical Agency, MIS, IEC and HRD, M&E programmes. With effect from 1/4/09, 5% of funds allocated to States can be utilized for taking up these activities after obtaining approval of the State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee. Every State has to maintain separate bank account for Support activities so that they are not diverted for any other purpose.

Sustainability of rural water supply sources

The Department has accorded highest priority to “Sustainability” of drinking water sources and systems to prevent slippages. Sustainability measures like water conservation and rainwater harvesting leads to in-situ remediation of water quality and as such will have to be a priority in water supply sector. For this purpose under NRDWP, allocation will be 20% for projects to be implemented on Sector Reform/ Swajaldhara principles for which 100% grant-in-aid will be made available to States. These projects are to be implemented in a demand-driven, decentralized, community-managed mode to achieve long term drinking water security by ensuring sustainability of sources and systems.

The States have been advised to adopt the following strategy:

  • Providing rainwater harvesting structures
  • Reviving traditional sources
  • Supplementing with new schemes for habitations served by outlived schemes.
  • Rejuvenation of outlived schemes which are functioning below their rated capacity
  • Providing regional schemes from alternate safe source by extending new pipelines
  • Source strengthening measures
  • Convergence of efforts of relevant Departments in watershed development
  • Institutionalization of community participation in water quality monitoring and in O&M of intra-village drinking water infrastructure.

Drinking water in rural schools
As on 1.4.2008, there were about 43,000 rural Government schools without drinking water facilities. It has been decided to provide drinking water facilities to the new rural schools under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) of the Ministry of Human Resource Development while existing schools will be covered from funds under NRDWP. During 2009-10, about 4,500 rural schools have reportedly been provided with drinking water facilities.


    Annual Report
    Audio/Video Spots
    Informatory Booklets

State Water Policy

    Proposed Draft for Drinking     Water & Sanitation I
    Proposed Draft for Drinking     Water and Sanitation II

Instruction and Notification

    Department Letter .
    Allotment Letter .
    Expression of Interest .
    Surrender Format .
   Scheme for Draught    Area  
    Appointment Letter  
    Sanctioning Order of     Water Supply Schemes  


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