The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), Government of India is entrusted with the responsibility for providing financial and technical resources for ensuring safe and sufficient drinking water in rural habitations of India. As per data available on the online portal of MDWS regarding progress of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP), out of a total 1,696,664 habitations nationwide, 1,249,695 (73.65%) habitations have been provided with a minimum of 40 litres per capita per day of water supply. Only 40.14% of the total habitations nationwide are provided with piped water supply schemes (PWSSs), and the remaining 59.86% of habitations have hand pumps and other schemes, whereas in the case of Madhya Pradesh, these figures are 15.96% and 84.04%, respectively. With the present rate of habitation coverage and quality of programme implementation, it seems almost impossible to reach the targets set in the ‘Strategic Plan for the rural drinking water sector for the period 2011 to 2022’. This study presents the findings of a state wide quantitative assessment of NRDWP implementation during the last five financial years (2010–2011 to 2014–2015) and also qualitative assessment of 16 PWSSs in 4 selected districts.

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