New Delhi: Jal Shakti Abhiyan will be launched across the country from today by Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The drive is aimed at accelerating water harvesting and conservation measures, said reports.

Here’s all you need to know about the programme:

  • For the Jal Shakti Abhiyan, 255 bureaucrats across different departments and ministries, have been nominated for one water-stressed district each. “We have to start going on the field for “sanchay” (conservation) and mobilising the public to take part in water conservation,” a daily quoted a senior government official as saying.
  • The programme aims to increase the water table in the stressed areas through dams, ponds, afforestation. The campaign will also involve cleaning up of water bodies, especially the old and neglected ones.
  • In order to turn it into a public movement, a team of officials from the Centre to the local level will go to water-stressed areas to involve the local community and students to drive the campaign.
  • The first step will be to draw an inventory of water resources and the ground water availability in these areas.
  • The programme will be implemented in two phases between July and September, during the monsoon season, during which government officials will visit their respective districts at least three times.

In his Mann Ki Baat programme on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called upon people to start a mass movement for water conservation and resolve to save every drop of water amidst water scarcity in several parts of the country.

He had said an awareness campaign should be started which should not only focus on water-related problems but also propagate ways to save water.

The Jal Shakti Ministry has come about after the merger of the ministries of Water Resources and Drinking Water and Sanitation. During his election campaign, PM Modi had promised to form an integrated ministry dealing with water issues.

“All the water-related works will be merged under one ministry,” Shekhawat had said after taking the charge.

The ministry would take care of all issues ranging from international and inter-states water disputes, the Namami Gange project, the flagship initiative to clean the
Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries and provide clean drinking water.