Jal Shakti Abhiyan to work in water-stressed areas of India

To address water scarcity, Union Jal Shakti Minister, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’ on 1st July 2019. Under this campaign, steps will be taken to ensure water conservation and water security with community participation from 1st July 2019 to 15th September 2019. An additional Phase II of this project will be conducted from 1st October 2019 to 30th November 2019 for the States receiving the North East retreating monsoons. 

The campaign aims to work extensively in 1592 water-stressed blocks in 256 districts and is a part of the larger plan to provide drinking water to every household in a sustainable manner. With community participation, the campaign will help people to harvest rainwater, maintenance of ponds, village tanks to conserve water efficiently.

Secretary of Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Shri Parameswaran Iyer, informed that the Jal Shakti Abhiyan is a collaborative effort of various Ministries of the Government of India and State Governments, being coordinated by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS). It is specified that teams of officers from the central government will visit and work to ensure five important water conservation interventions. The five interventions being water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies/tanks, re-use, bore well recharge structures, watershed development, and intensive afforestation. Also, special interventions will be supplemented, which include the development of Block and District Water Conservation Plans, the promotion of efficient water use for irrigation and a better choice of crops through Krishi Vigyan Kendras. A large-scale communications campaign has also been planned alongside the JSA involving mass mobilization of different groups including school students, college students, swachhagrahis, Self-Help Groups, Panchayati Raj Institution members, youth groups (NSS/NYKS/NCC), defense personnel, ex-servicemen and pensioners, among various others. The campaign has already started work with organizing functions and programs to create awareness about water in Manipur, Tirupati, Meghalaya, and Imphal. 


Jal Shakti Abhiyan at Warangal District and Kochi

Warangal: Under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan, water conservation measures were taken to ease the problem of water scarcity in the Warangal District of Telangana. Under the measures, construction work of 42 water harvesting structures and five farm ponds and restoration of tanks in Vangara, Keshavanagar, Banjarpally, Jeelugula, and Velair villages has been completed. Nine bore well recharge structures and 1,634 trenches work also saw completion. Also, the administration organized five awareness campaigns, with the Krishi Vignana Kendra’s organization of four awareness programs for the masses. The Collector said that they have a comprehensive irrigation planning for the district. Warangal Urban district collector Prashanth Jeevan Patil informed that the completed works are geotagged and can be inspected.

Kochi: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) deployed at Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT) at Udyogamandal set up a model for the other agencies to follow under the intensive rainwater conservation programme of Jal Shakti Abhiyan. Ankit Dube, deputy Commandant, CISF, FACT Udyogmandal listed down the works done, it includes the digging of four rainwater harvesting pits and 80-odd percolation pits. The plan is to first implement the Jal Shakti Abhiyan in the residential areas of CISF jawans and the CISF office complexes before expanding it to the neighborhood with co-operation from the local bodies.  The rainwater harvesting will collect and channel water from the rooftops into the pits, while the percolation pits are being dug to recharge the groundwater. The rainwater harvesting pits with size and depth of around 3×3 meters and three to four meters are dug for harvesting rainwater, respectively. The drums kept inside can store 300 liters of water with gravel and stone layers on the sides to allow filtered water to percolate into the groundwater table. CISF mentioned that it will also take up the work of cleaning and de-silting of a check dam in the Kochi division of FACT and mass plantation of saplings.   

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