Water crisis has always been a serious issue faced nationwide. The decreasing Groundwater levels is an alarming situation. Water shortage scenarios are being reported from many areas across the country. Government is making efforts to combat this uncertainty. To ensure water security and providing safe water to all Indians, the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ scheme/हर घर जल योजना is launched.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her maiden Union Budget (2019-20), announced that the government was aiming to provide drinking water supply for all rural households in the country by 2024. Sitharaman told Parliament that the newly- constituted Jal Shakti Mantralaya will work with the states to ensure ‘Har Ghar Jal’ for all rural houses by 2024, under the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’.
A major step in this direction has been the constitution of the Jal Shakti Ministry. This new ministry will look at the management of our water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner and will work with states to ensure Har Ghar Jal to all rural households by 2024 under the Jal Jeevan Mission stated the Finance Minister.
The campaign was launched by Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat., and for this the government has identified 1,592 blocks in 256 districts across India which are water critical. The government has assigned central government officers, including additional secretaries and joint secretaries, to these 256 districts. Two officers from the district administration will also be made part of these teams.
According to Drinking Water Sanitation Secretary Parameswaran Iyer, the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’ will focus on five aspects – water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development, and intensive afforestation.
Highlights of the scheme:
- It focuses on access to uninterrupted water supply to all by the year 2024
- Government aims water security and safe water to all Indians as a priority
- The Jal Jeevan Mission is set to stress on local infrastructure for rainwater harvesting, management of waste water for sustainability of source as well as
- Focus is on various water conservation efforts like point recharge, desilting of minor irrigation tanks, use of grey water for agriculture and source sustainability.
- The Jal Jeevan Mission will connect with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.
- An appeal has been made to all states to get maximum participation of the public in the form of ‘Jan Andolan’ to achieve the target by 2024.