The fourth meeting of the National Level Steering Committee (NLSC) of the Atal Bhujal Yojana was held in New Delhi to review the progress of the scheme.
Atal Bhujal Yojana
The Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL) is a Central Sector Scheme being implemented in 8220 water-stressed Gram Panchayats across seven states. These states include Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. The scheme aims to address water security issues and is implemented for a five-year period from 2020 to 2025.
Goals and Benefits of Atal Bhujal Yojana
The Special Secretary of the Department of Water Resources highlighted the importance of assessing the quality of training provided at the Gram Panchayat level. The integration of Water Security Plans (WSPs) in the Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDPs) was emphasized to ensure sustainability even after the completion of the scheme. The scheme has been commended for promoting water use efficiency and community-led sustainable groundwater management. The meeting also focused on best practices for sustainable groundwater management, including recharge techniques, efficient water use, innovative technologies, and public disclosure of data.
Key Aspects of Atal Bhujal Yojana
Atal Bhujal Yojana aims to bring about behavioral changes in the community, shifting from consumption to conservation and smart water management. It assists Gram Panchayats in collecting water-related data, preparing water budgets, and developing Water Security Plans (WSPs). The scheme emphasizes demand-side interventions and aims to improve groundwater management practices.
Overall, the NLSC meeting and the workshop on best practices highlighted the progress and achievements of the Atal Bhujal Yojana in addressing water security challenges and promoting sustainable groundwater management. The scheme’s continued implementation and integration of WSPs in Gram Panchayat plans will ensure long-term benefits and sustainability in water management practices.
Ministry, Launch Year, and Implementing Body
The Atal Bhujal Yojana is under the purview of the Ministry of Jal Shakti and is being implemented by the Department of Water Resources. The scheme was launched in 2023 with the aim of addressing water scarcity and ensuring sustainable water management practices.
Reviewing Progress and Future Plans
During the NLSC meeting, the overall progress of the scheme was reviewed, and states were urged to expedite all activities related to procurement and implementation of the interventions proposed under Water Security Plans (WSPs). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the scheme’s implementation was acknowledged, and it was decided to extend the scheme for an additional two years beyond its original timeframe.
Workshop on Best Practices
Following the NLSC meeting, a workshop was conducted on Best Practices for Sustainable Groundwater Management. Participating states shared their experiences and best practices related to groundwater recharge, efficient water use, innovative technologies for irrigation, and public disclosure of data. The workshop emphasized the significance of demand-side interventions and highlighted how the Atal Bhujal Yojana is driving positive changes in groundwater management.
Promoting Community Engagement and Water Budgeting
Atal Bhujal Yojana focuses on bringing about behavioral changes within communities, shifting from a consumption-oriented mindset to one of conservation and smart water management. The scheme supports Gram Panchayats in collecting water-related data and encourages the preparation of water budgets and Water Security Plans (WSPs). These initiatives enable communities to actively participate in managing their water resources effectively.
The Way Forward
The Atal Bhujal Yojana continues to play a vital role in addressing water security challenges in water-stressed areas across the seven participating states. By promoting sustainable groundwater management, implementing best practices, and involving communities in water management decisions, the scheme aims to ensure the long-term availability of water resources. The integration of WSPs in Gram Panchayat Development Plans will contribute to the scheme’s sustainability and long-lasting impact on groundwater management practices.
In conclusion, the Atal Bhujal Yojana is making significant progress in tackling water scarcity issues and promoting sustainable water management practices. With continued efforts, collaboration, and community engagement, the scheme has the potential to create a positive and lasting impact on water security in the participating states.
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