Water Conservation: ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyaan’ To Cover 256 Districts Across India

New Delhi: Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Monday launched a conservation campaign with an emphasis on 1592 stressed blocks in 256 districts.

Drinking Water Sanitation Secretary Parmeswaran lyer said the ‘Jai Shakti Abhiyan’ will focus on five aspects – water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development, and intensive afforestation.

The campaign will run through citizen participation during the monsoon (July 1-September 15). An additional phase II will run from October 1 to November 30 for states receiving the northeast retreating monsoons, lyer said.

Officers from the central government, led by additional secretaries and joint secretaries, have been assigned to these 256 districts, he said.

The district administration will also nominate two members to join these teams.

The conservation efforts will be supplemented by initiatives like developing block and district water conservation plans and ‘krishi vigyan kendra melas’ to promote efficient water use for irrigation and better crop choices.

Teams have been constituted in 256 districts before the launch of the programme, and engineers and technical staff have been placed in blocks to take stock of the groundwater levels, the state of aquifers, and ponds and water bodies that may have been encroached upon over the last two decades.

In urban areas, plans with time-bound targets will be developed for wastewater reuse for industrial and agricultural purposes.

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