Topic of the Day – Atal Bhujal Yojana

In today’s edition of Topic of the Day, you can read a brief about an important government scheme, the Atal Bhujal Yojana for the IAS exam. This scheme is related to groundwater usage and conservation in India. Schemes are very important for the IAS exam as every year, many questions are asked in both the UPSC prelims and the mains exam.

With the intention of addressing the problem of fast depleting groundwater resources, the government of India has planned to introduce the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY). The programme is expected to lay emphasis on the recharge of groundwater resources and a better exploitation of the groundwater resources, with the involvement of people at the local level.

  • 6000 crores will be set aside for the scheme.
  • The scheme will be implemented and looked over by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • The half of the cost of the scheme will be borne by the Government, while the other half will be funded by the World Bank in the form of a loan.
  • It is proposed to be launched in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat across 78 districts, 193 blocks and about 8300 gram panchayats.
  • To encourage community participation, it has been planned by the government to give 50% of the money to gram panchayats and states as incentives for achieving the groundwater management targets.

Post the data from Central Ground Water Board report regarding groundwater depleting at an alarming rate in 30% of the assessed blocks from the assessment of groundwater in the country, the Government has fast-tracked its ambitious Atal Bhujal Yojana.

Close to 80% of the urban and rural domestic water supplies in India rely on groundwater. According to a World Bank Report, India accounts for about 25% of the total groundwater abstraction, globally. The increasing number of dark zones (areas where groundwater is overexploited implying annual consumption exceeding annual recharge of groundwater) makes it imperative for this programme to be implemented. The programme is expected to receive an approval by the 31st of March 2018.

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