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Department of Water Resources Chairs Meeting of Atal Bhujal Yojana

Why Atal Bhujal Yojana is in News?

The fourth meeting of the National Level Steering Committee (NLSC) of the Atal Bhujal Yojana was held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of the Secretary, Department of Water Resources, RD & GR, Ministry of Jal Shakti. Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL) is being implemented as a Central Sector Scheme since April 2020 in 8220 water-stressed Gram Panchayats of 229 administrative blocks/Talukas in 80 districts of seven States, viz. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh for a five-year period (2020-25).

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Atal Bhujal Yojana: Introduction

The Committee has reviewed the overall progress of the scheme and directed the States to expedite all the activities including procurement as well as convergence for the implementation of the interventions proposed under Water Security Plans (WSPs). The Committee noted that the scheme implementation was hampered by COVID during the initial two years and given that community behavioral change is a time taking process, it was decided that the scheme should be taken up for continuation for another two years beyond the existing time of the scheme.

Ministry: Ministry of Jal Shakti

Launch Year: 2023

Implementing Body: Department of Water Resources

Atal Bhujal Yojana: Goals and Benefits

  • The Special Secretary, DoWR, Ms. Debashree Mukherjee highlighted the importance of assessing of quality of the training being provided at the Gram Panchayat level. She also requested all participating States to integrate WSPs in the Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDPs).
  • This integration will provide sustainability to the approach followed by the scheme even after the completion of the time period.
  • The Practice Manager of, the World Bank praised the scheme for bringing water use efficiency at the forefront and noted the progress made during the last three years.
  • She emphasized the importance of community-led sustainable ground water management and lent her full support to the scheme.
  • The meeting was attended by Senior Officers of 7 States where the scheme is being implemented as well as Line Departments, who are members of the Committee.
  • The NLSC Meeting was followed by Workshop on Best Practices for Sustainable Ground Water Management wherein all 7 States presented the best practices on groundwater recharge, efficient water use, innovative technologies under irrigation, public disclosure of data, etc. followed under Atal Bhujal Yojana in their respective State and how this scheme is bringing change in Ground Water Management with special focus on the promotion of demand side interventions.
  • One of the key aspects of ATAL JAL is to bring in behavioral changes in the community, from the prevailing attitude of consumption to conservation & smart water management. Communities at the Gram panchayat level are being assisted in collecting water-related data and then preparing water budgets and Water Security Plans (WSPs).

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