The Jal Jeevan Mission recently announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be a nation-wide movement like the Swachh Bharat mission, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said in Pune on Tuesday.
Shekhawat was speaking at the 31st induction training programme of ‘Group A’ officers of the Central Water Engineering Service, organised at Central Water Academy, in the city.
“Water has become the subject of discussion but it was always important (resource)… it is sad that water resources in India are among the most polluted in the world. But the recently-announced Jal Jeevan mission will have a huge impact on lives of people, “ said Shekhawat.
As per the mission plan, the central government plans to provide drinking water connections to all homes by 2024. The Prime Minister has proposed Rs 3.5 lakh crore towards this mission.
India receives over 1,068 mm rainfall annually. Of this, the total water available in all the water resources and reservoirs is approximately 4,000 billion cubic metres (BCM), of which only about 2,000 BCM is harvested and available for various purposes. In addition to surface water, groundwater recharge in India amounts to about 300 BCM, but the minister stated that the rate of groundwater withdrawal was very high.
“Data suggests that the amount of groundwater being drawn is over 450 BCM. This may be due to rampant urbanisation and rising population and it is a huge challenge for the nation.”
The minister also informed that the ministry was already working to improve the water situation and has initiated measures for better water conservation in 256 districts in the country, which collectively have over 3,000 blocks that face water issues.