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What is Atal Bhujal Yojana? Modi govt’s ambitious programme for groundwater management

What is Atal Bhujal Yojana? (Representational pic)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched the Atal Bhujal Yojana on the occasion of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth anniversary. Under this programme, the government will work towards improving the groundwater level by seeking community participation.

The scheme with a total outlay of Rs 6000 crore will be implemented over a period of five years. While 50% of the budget will be in the form of World Bank loan, the remaining 50% will be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support. The burden of repaying the World Bank loan will be borne by the central government.

The government has identified areas in seven states where the scheme will be implemented on priority. The seven states are Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the government data, the scheme will benefit nearly 8,350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts in the selected states. The government said Atal Bhujal Yojana reflects Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘gram swarajya’ ideology as it will promote panchayat led groundwater management.

The scheme will also check the wastage of water in the agriculture fields. It will help the farmers in the region where irrigation is largely based on groundwater.

Also, the government released the guidelines for the Jal Jeevan mission on the occasion. The government has decided that 15 crore houses will get piped water by 2024. Nearly Rs 3.6 lakh crore will be spent on achieving this target.

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Source: Financial Express