In a countrywide effort to enhance water security, especially in water stressed districts, the Centre initiated Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA)has delivered over 3.5 lakh water conservation measures in 256 districts. Out of these, 1.54 lakh are of water conservation and rain water harvesting measures, 20000 relate to the rejuvenation of traditional water bodies, over 65000 are reuse and recharge structures and 1.23 lakh are watershed development projects. An estimated 2.64 crore people have already participated in the Abhiyan making it a Jan Andolan. About 4.25 crore saplings were planted as a part of the efforts. The outcome of the first phase of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan was announced at a review by Cabinet Secretary in New Delhi today.
Chairing the review, Shri Pradeep Kumar Sinha, Union Cabinet Secretary, appreciated the efforts and commitment shown by the nodal officers in the campaign and encouraged them to closely work with districts for bringing significant changes through key interventions and initiatives. He said, “JSA has definitely created a lot of buzz in the country, and it will do lot of good in the years to come. Our aim is to ensure the benefits reach the farmers at the ground-level.“
Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, DDWS, shared that the JSA has led to an increase in groundwater level, surface water storage capacity, soil moisture in farm lands and increased plant cover.The JSA is a collaborative effort of various Ministries of the Centre and State Governments, and is primarily a Jal Sanchay campaign, which has gained phenomenal momentum in this past one month.
The campaign is successfully running with the involvement of about 1300 officers of the central government joined by state and district officials who are required to take up 3 field visits.
Workshop with Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, Founders, Paani Foundation
The workshop also had presentations by prominent NGOs working in the area of water conservation, deploying successful interventions, innovations and strategies.Shri Aamir Khan, renowned actor and the founder of Paani Foundation, showcased encouraging films about grass-root level stories in Maharashtra, where lives have been impacted by the Foundation’s mobilization efforts in respective villages. He emphasized upon the need of educating people at village-level about the importance of saving water, showing them effective ways and techniques and how they can play a leading role in taking the initiatives forward.
Shri Kalyan Paul, Executive Director, Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, Uttarakhand elaborated how women played an important role in water conservation across the mountain states of India.Aranyak, an NGO working in North East India highlighted the importance of “Dong Bundh System” (a traditional water conservation and management system) which ensures availability of drinking and irrigation water by deploying conventional methods. Representatives of Bangalore based Arghyamhighlighted the importance of educating locals, honing their skills, ensuring their participation and ownership to manage local water bodies and continuing this practice on a daily basis as the ways to ensure efficient water conservation measures.
The Review meeting-cum-Workshop was attended by concerned Union Secretaries who clarified on points relating to their departments. Shri TP Singh, Advisor, MEITY made a presentation about the application of Space and Geo Information (3-D) in Jal Shanchay