Indian PM Launches Atal Jal Yojna to Tackle Water Shortage in Country
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Atal Jal Yojna to conserve groundwater in several Indian states facing acute water shortage. The Rs 60 billion plan will tackle water shortage in the country’s seven heartland states where agriculture is the backbone.
The scheme will benefit Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujrat. In these states, 78 districts and 8,300 gram panchayats are struggling with groundwater scarcity, which is very worrisome.
Atal Jal Yojna and the Jal Jeevan Mission guidelines are big steps in realizing the goal of supplying (tap) water to every household by 2024. The government has paid attention to water recycling and people participation in conservation. Groundwater levels are depleting fast.
PM Narendra Modi said.
Federal policy think tank NITI Aayog had revealed in a report last June that about 600 million people facing high to extreme water stress, and about 200,000 people die every year because of inadequate access to safe water. The report also said that by 2030, India’s water demand will be twice the available supply.
The world’s second-most populous country faces the worst long-term water crisis in its history as the demand surpasses supply which threatens the farm output and overall economic growth. India is the world’s leading producer of an array of farm goods, and nearly 60 percent of the irrigation for agriculture comes from groundwater, mainly through electric water pumps.
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The Atal Jal Yojna is launched at a time when there is wide concern among policymakers about the water crisis affecting lives and livelihood in several parts of the country.
The PM also urged the farmers to opt for less water-intensive crops for water conservation. Places where water-intensive crops, such as sugarcane, are grown, have witnessed the depletion of groundwater level. It is crucial to make farmers aware of the conservation of rainwater and of choosing alternative crops for cultivation and move towards micro-irrigation.
He also urged every village to prepare a water action plan, water fund and make use of the funds through different related state and central schemes. Modi said that villages with low groundwater levels should prepare a water budget and farmers should be encouraged to grow crops accordingly.
The plan is a good step towards mitigating water scarcity in many regions of the country.