National Rural Drinking Water Programme

National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) was launched under Bharat Nirman by UPA Government with objective of ensuring provision of safe and adequate drinking water supply through hand-pumps, piped water supply etc. to all rural areas, households and persons. This programme was launched after merging the three erstwhile programmes on Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme-ARWSP; Swajaldhara and National Rural Water Quality Monitoring & Surveillance.


In the Union Budget 2017-18, a provision of Rs. 6050.00 crore has been made for NRDWP including Rs. 575.00 crore for North-Eastern Region and Sikkim for the year 2017-18. Further, 22% of the total allocation i.e. Rs. 1331.00 crore and 10% amounting Rs. 605.00 crore is earmarked for the meeting expenditure on Scheduled Castes Component (SCC) and Scheduled Tribe Component (STC) respectively for the year 2017-18.


The NRDWP has following six components:

  1. NRDWP (Coverage),
  2. NRDWP (Sustainability)
  3. NRDWP (Water quality)
  4. NRDWP (DDP areas)
  5. NRDWP (Natural calamity)
  6. 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.

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.

Objectives / Norms for providing drinking water

The Objectives of this programme is to provide:

  • 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.

Current Status

Only 26.9 million out of 167.8 million households (16%) in rural India have piped water, according to data provided by the ministry of drinking water and sanitation to the Rajya Sabha  on February 6, 2017. Of 1.7 million rural habitations provided drinking water under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, 1.3 million (77%) habitations are fully covered–defined as having at least 40 litres per capita per day (LPCD)–that is nearly two standard buckets–of safe water; 330,086 (19.3%) habitations are partially covered (safe water is available but below 40 LPCD) and 64,094 (3.73%) are “water-quality affected habitations”–meaning those with contaminated water–in the rural areas as on March 15, 2017, according to this answer to the Rajya Sabha on March 20, 2017.

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  • javaid ahmed

    required for evaluation study

  • chichuan naik

    government of India lunching so many programs for drinking water facilities for rural and tribal people ,even people are suffering from drinking water .whose folts is this?why the scheme never reaches to the people?

  • Tomba Ashem

    Despite its optimum attempts to provide safe and clean drinking water to the common people,effective distribution of it still remains a distant dream.However, this can be tackled if govt. promises transparent and accountable implementation of various schemes by imposing punishable law against the offenders.A reliable relationship between govt. and people must also be implanted.Mass awareness about judicious use of water resources will back this policy.Harnessing rainwater during monsoon seasons will also help reducing water shortage both at rural and urban areas. Govt. must strengthen and empower municipalities and panchayats as the nodal agencies to handle the policies in due course.