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Atal Bhujal Yojana

Atal Bhujal Yojana

The Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY) is a government initiative aimed at ensuring the sustainable management of groundwater resources, involving communities in the process. With a hefty budget of Rs.6,000 crores, it focuses on fostering public participation through the creation of ‘Water User Associations‘, implementing water budgeting strategies, and developing water security plans tailored to each Gram Panchayat’s needs. This scheme emphasizes the importance of people coming together to safeguard our precious water sources for future generations.

About Atal Bhujal Yojana

In 2019, the Government of India introduced the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY), a significant scheme with a budget of Rs. 6,000 crores. Its primary goal is to enhance the management of groundwater by involving communities in regions facing water scarcity. This initiative targets specific areas in seven states, striving to address the pressing water challenges they encounter.

  • Gujarat, 
  • Haryana, 
  • Karnataka, 
  • Madhya Pradesh, 
  • Maharashtra, 
  • Rajasthan, and 
  • Uttar Pradesh.

Background of Atal Bhujal Yojana 

The Atal Bhujal Yojana, initiated in 2020, aims to tackle India’s groundwater scarcity issue by involving local communities in decision-making. It urges people to come together, think wisely about water usage, replenish groundwater, and conserve this precious resource. With a focus on inclusivity, especially among farmers, the scheme aims to ensure an adequate supply of clean water for both drinking and farming purposes.

Objectives of Atal Bhujal Yojana

Some of the important objectives of Atal Bhujal Yojana have been listed below.

    • We’re aiming to get local communities more involved in managing groundwater in key areas across the nation.We want to encourage people to change their behaviors when it comes to using water, making sure they’re preserving it and using it efficiently.
    • The areas we’re focusing on are in states like Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. These states have about a quarter of India’s overused, critical, and semi-critical groundwater zones.
    • In these states, we’re dealing with different types of groundwater systems, like alluvial and hardrock aquifers, and each state has its own level of experience and willingness to manage groundwater.
    • Our plan also involves bringing together existing government programs in these states, focusing them more intensely on these priority areas.
    • We’re providing funds to these states as grants to strengthen the institutions responsible for managing groundwater and to encourage community participation.

    Features of Atal Bhujal Yojana

    • ATAL JAL aims to empower communities to manage underground water resources better by strengthening institutional frameworks. It seeks to encourage behavioral changes at the grassroots level for sustainable groundwater management.
    • This initiative is expected to benefit approximately 8,350 Gram Panchayats across 78 districts in seven states.
    • ATAL JAL will promote community-led groundwater management, focusing primarily on demand-side strategies.
    • Over a period of five years, a total expenditure of Rs. 6,000 crores is planned. Half of this amount will be provided as a loan from the World Bank, to be repaid by the central government.
    • 50% of the funding will come from regular budgetary allocations as central assistance. Both the World Bank loan and central assistance will be provided to states as grants.

    Components of Atal Bhujal Yojana

    Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building Component (1400 crores): This part focuses on bolstering institutions involved in managing groundwater. These institutions will receive support to enhance their effectiveness through training programs aimed at educating government officials and other stakeholders. The goal is to equip them with the necessary skills to better manage groundwater resources. By facilitating coordination among stakeholders, this initiative aims to safeguard groundwater for future generations.

    Incentive Component (4600 crores): The incentive component aims to inspire farmers and communities to adopt sustainable groundwater practices. Financial incentives will be provided to individuals and communities who implement such practices, such as employing efficient irrigation methods and constructing rainwater harvesting structures. These incentives serve to encourage conservation efforts and promote responsible groundwater management.

    Significance of Atal Bhujal Yojana

    • This initiative aims to provide vital support to individuals, especially farmers, grappling with the persistent scarcity of groundwater. By offering a reliable groundwater supply, we seek to alleviate the hardships faced by those in need, particularly those in agricultural communities hit hardest by the prolonged drought conditions.
    • Its focus is predominantly on the participation of communities and convergence with various water schemes.
    • Its significant component is making society accountable and bringing about a behavioral change to manage groundwater resources.
    • It will assist in improving the overall perspective towards water resources.

    Read Also: Atal Pension Yojana

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