Atal Bhujal Yojona: Water Conservation Scheme
Central Government has recently launched a Water Conservation Scheme named after Former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The new scheme is named as Atal Bhujal Yojona. The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation would implement and look after the scheme. According to the Government, the scheme would improve the present condition of the various water bodies of India as well as help to increase the ground water level to boost the agricultural sector of the country. The Government has already announced to grant Rs. 6000 Crore under for the successful implementation of this project. Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India Nitin Gadkari has informed that this useful scheme would be funded jointly by World Bank and Ministry of Finance. The scheme is expected to get the approval of cabinet 31st March of 2018.
Reasons behind the Implementation of the Scheme-
- As per the report of Central Ground Water Board, the groundwater level is decreasing at a high rate of 30% across the blocks of the country and that would be fatal for the country.
- As per the survey, the groundwater is over-exploited in 1,071 units of 6,607 assessed blocks. Among those, 217 blocks are critical, 697 blocks are semi-critical, 92 blocks are totally saline and 4,530 blocks are safe.
- The decreasing of groundwater level has become a major problem in Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and also in Union Territories of Daman and Diu. and Puducherry.
- Approximately 80% of the domestic water supplies in village and urban areas in India are dependent on groundwater.
- On the other hand, World Bank has declared in its report that only India absorbs approximately 25% of the total groundwater usage across the World.
- India has an increasing number of dark zones across its states. Dark Zones are referred to the areas where the annual usage of groundwater is more than the recharge of it.
Objective of the Scheme –
- The level of ground water is decreasing day by day due to excessive tapping across India. The decreasing water level may cause an additional burden to the farmers as they need to dig wells and other extraction structures for smooth supply of water to their fields. The scheme would increase the underwater level so that the farmers would get pure and clean water for their agricultural fields.
- The scheme would help to restore the water bodies across the country and focus on the improvement of ground water level especially in village areas.
- The scheme would also ensure the proper supply of ground water and Ganga-water to the fields.
- The scheme would benefit both of the people of rural and urban area.
Features of the Scheme –
- According to the government, the budget that is estimated for this project would be funded by Ministry of Finance and World Bank. Half of the amount would be provided by the Government while the rest is sanctioned as loan by the World Bank.
- Government has also decided to involve the local people in this scheme to encourage the community participation. The government has planned to provide 50% of the amount to the gram panchayats and states as the incentive to achieve the target of groundwater management.
- The scheme would be launched across approximately 78 districts, 193 blocks and 8300 gram panchayats of the states Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat.
The Atal Bhujal Yojona is definitely a positive step by the government for the purpose of Water Conservation. It is expected that the scheme would be able to raise the groundwater level and supply the water smoothly to the agricultural fields.