Bharat Nirman, a programme to build rural infrastructure, was launched by the Government of India in 2005. Phase I of the programme was implemented in the period 2005-06 to 2008-09. Phase II is being implemented from 2009-10 to 2011-12. Rural drinking water is one of the six components of Bharat Nirman. During the Bharat Nirman Phase – I period, 55,067 un‐covered and about 3.31 lakh slipped‐back habitations were to be covered with provisions of drinking water facilities and 2.17 lakh quality‐affected habitations were to be addressed for water quality problem.
While prioritizing the addressal of the water quality problem, Arsenic and Fluoride affected habitations have been accorded priority followed by Iron, Salinity, Nitrate and other contaminants. To ensure that habitations once provided with drinking water supply infrastructure do not slip back and face drinking water problem, sustainability of drinking water sources and systems has been accorded high priority. To achieve drinking water security at village/ habitation level, conjunctive use of water i.e. judicious use of rainwater, surface water and ground water is promoted.