Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch Atal Bhujal Yojana in New Delhi today. The Central Government scheme will promote Panchayat led groundwater management and behavioural changes with a primary focus on demand-side management.
Union Cabinet approved the 6,000 crore rupees scheme at a meeting yesterday. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, the scheme will be implemented over a period of 5 years in identified areas in Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. He said, the scheme will boost the income of farmers.
Groundwater contributes to nearly 65 per cent of total irrigated area of the country and nearly 85 per cent of the rural drinking water supply. The limited groundwater resources in the country are under threat due to the increasing demands of growing population, urbanization and industrialization.
Atal Bhujal Yojana has two major components. One is strengthening institutional arrangements for sustainable groundwater management in the States including improving monitoring networks, capacity building and strengthening of Water User Associations. Second is incentivising the States for achievements in improved groundwater management practices.
The scheme will result in the efficient use of available groundwater resources with emphasis on demand-side measures like micro-irrigation, crop diversification and electricity feeder separation. It will also contribute towards the goal of doubling the farmers’ income.