Atal Bhujal Yojana has been formulated by the Union Government as an ambitious scheme for effective water conservation in order to eliminate the crisis of groundwater level depletion. As approved by the World Bank, Rs. 6,000 crore will be piloted under the guidance of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation.
What are the objectives of Atal Bhujal Yojana?
Atal Bhujal Yojana has the following objectives:
- Primarily, the scheme focuses on recharging groundwater to elevate levels, generating plenty of water storage for fulfilling agricultural needs.
- Atal Bhujal Yojana also focuses on reviving surface water bodies and water entities for elevating groundwater levels. The scheme mainly encompasses rural areas of the country.
Once the scheme receives clearance from the cabinet, it will be launched in states suffering from water stress, such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. Under Atal Bhujal Scheme, over 78 districts, 193 blocks, and over 8300 various gram panchayats based in the aforementioned water-stressed states. Under this scheme, the government is entitled to provide nearly 50% of the total project cost, whereas the remaining of the total project cost will be provided by the World Bank. The scheme has launched for a total of 5 years from the financial year 2018–2019 to 2022–2023.
Various forms of measures have been taken up by the government, such as the formation of “water user associations”; monitoring and circulating groundwater level data; water budgeting, preparation, and implementation of gram panchayats.
Atal Bhujal Yojana envisions to support those in dire need of groundwater supply, such as farmers and tackling acute shortage of water resources. The scheme also envisages the involvement of various communities and making the society responsible for managing groundwater levels on a personal scale.
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