Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Monday launched a campaign for water conservation and water security. The campaign will focus on 1,592 “water stressed blocks” in 256 districts.
The Jal Shakti Abhiyan will be centred around five aspects: water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharge of borewell structures, watershed development and intensive afforestation.
These efforts will be supplemented with other interventions, including the development of block and district water conservation plans, promotion of efficient water use for irrigation and better choice of crops through Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
“The campaign will run through citizen participation during the monsoon season, from 1st July, 2019 to 15th September, 2019,” the Jal Shakti ministry said in a statement. “An additional Phase 2 will be run from 1st October, 2019 to 30th November, 2019 for states receiving the North East retreating monsoons.”
“At a time when half the country is water stressed, time is apt to run this campaign so we don’t become a country facing water scarcity,” Shekhawat said, according to PTI. “The Jal Shakti Abhiyan should bring positive change in people for water conservation.”
In his first address in the second edition of monthly radio show Mann Ki Baat on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the “one-size-fits-all” approach will not work in conservation of water.
Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation Secretary Parmeswaran Iyer said officers from the central government, led by additional secretaries and joint secretaries, have been assigned to the 256 districts. The district administration will also nominate two members to join these teams.
The ministry said a large-scale communications campaign has been planned alongside the water conservation programme involving mass mobilisation of different groups, including school students, college students, Self Help Groups, Panchayati Raj institution members, youth groups, defence personnel, ex-servicemen and pensioners.