The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has started the Atal Bhoojal Yojana (Water Conservation Plan). Through this scheme, the existing condition of many water bodies of the country will be improved. Atal Bhoojal Yojana will help raise the level of ground water to meet the needs of the agricultural sector. The central government has budgeted to spend Rs 6,000 crore to successfully implement this mega project. Atal Bhoojal Yojana will first be implemented in the identified areas in Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in 5 years.
Features of Atal Bhujal Yojana
- The Atal Bhujal Yojana is a central sector scheme with a total outlay of Rs 6,000 crore over a period of 5 years.
- It aims to improve groundwater management through community participation in identified priority areas in seven states. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
- The implementation of the scheme is expected to benefit about 8350 gram panchayats in 78 districts in these states.
- The scheme will promote panchayat-led groundwater management and behavior change.
- Out of the total outlay of Rs 6000 crore, 50% will be in the form of World Bank loan, and will be repaid by the central government. The remaining 50% will be through regular support from the Union Budget.
Atal Bhujal Yojana
Need – Due to widespread exploitation across the country, the ground water level has come down to its lowest level in recent years. The government has planned this scheme for conservation of water bodies, which is a matter of concern for the authorities.
Benefits – This scheme will help in reviving the water bodies. In addition, groundwater levels will also improve, especially in rural areas.