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As per the constitution of India, taking care of the water supply and sanitation needs of the citizens is a responsibility of State Governments and its lower tiers of governance such as the Zilla parishad, Urban Local Bodies and to some extent the Gram Panchayats also.
In Maharashtra, the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation along with the department of Water Supply and Sanitation was created in 1996 to exclusively concentrate on the poor coverage and access to these essential services in both urban and rural areas. The Ministry is responsible for setting the policies for the State in this sector and coordinate with the Central Government and other key institutions.
The Ministry is headed by the Minister of Water Supply and Sanitation and is supported by the State Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation. The Secretary heads the Water Supply and Sanitation Department (WSSD).
The WSSD is supported by two technical wings viz: Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP) and Groundwater and Survey Development Agency (GSDA). Besides, the rural water supply and sanitation programs are being implemented through Reform Support and Management Unit (RSMU) situated at New Mumbai
Providing a safe, convenient and sustainable water supply, combined with safe sanitation is considered to be one of the highest priorities for any development plans. Thus, Water Supply and Sanitation plays an important role in development agenda of ensuring that everyone has access to efficient, responsive and sustainable water and sanitation services.