Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal) is targeted at sustainable groundwater management, mainly through convergence among various ongoing schemes with the active involvement of local communities and stakeholders. This will ensure that in the Scheme area, the funds allocated by the Central and State governments are spent judiciously to ensure the long term sustainability of groundwater resources. The scheme has been designed as a pilot with the principal objective of strengthening the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management.
In order to acknowledge and contain the ever-growing problem of groundwater depletion, the Indian Government introduced the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY) in December 2019 after getting financial approval from the World Bank in 2018. It has been launched under the Jal Jeevan Mission of the government.
Atal Bhujal scheme is related to groundwater usage and conservation in India and is one of the important Government Schemes. These kinds of schemes are important for the UPSC exam as every year, many questions are asked in both the prelims and mains exam.
Government Schemes also play an important role in IAS Exam.
They are a significant part of the General Studies paper-2 of the UPSC Syllabus.
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Important Facts about Atal Bhujal Yojana
Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal)
|The Date of Launch of Atal Bhujal Yojana||25th December 2019 on the special occasion of the 95th birth anniversary of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.|
|Atal Bhujal Yojana Comes Under Which Ministry||Ministry of Jal Shakti
Official Website – http://mowr.gov.in/schemes/atal-bhujal-yojana
|Atal Bhujal Yojana – A Central Sector scheme or Central-Sponsored scheme||It is a Central Sector Scheme|
|Components of the scheme, Atal Bhujal Yojana||Two components;
|An outlay of Atal Bhujal Yojana||Rs. 6000 Crore|
|Implementation Period of Atal Bhujal Yojana||2020-21 to 2024-25|
|States included in the Atal Bhujal Yojana for sustainable management of groundwater resources||Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh|
|World Bank’s Assistance in Atal Bhujal Yojana||$450 million|
|Current update regarding Atal Bhujal Yojana||
What is Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY)?
The objective of the programme was to lay emphasis on the recharge of groundwater resources and improve the exploitation of the groundwater resources, with the involvement of people at the local level.
- The scheme will be implemented and looked over by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, which is now known as the Jal Shakti Ministry.
- 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.
- 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.
- The scheme is being taken up in 8353 water-stressed Gram Panchayats of Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. Given below is are the areas and tentative financial allocations:
- The scheme has two components:
- Institutional Strengthening & Capacity Building component (Rs. 1,400 crore)
- Incentive Component (Rs. 4,600 crore) for incentivizing the States
Post the data from the Central Ground Water Board report regarding groundwater depletion at an alarming rate in 30% of the assessed blocks from the assessment of groundwater in the country, the Government has fast-tracked the implementation of the Atal Bhujal Yojana.
To read about Water Scarcity – Water Stress in India & Prevention of Water Scarcity, Click Here
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Objectives of Atal Bhujal Yojana
- It aims at groundwater management in priority areas in the country through community participation.
- Two major types of groundwater systems found in India include alluvial and hard rock aquifers. These are covered under the scheme.
- Priority areas covered – Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
- These States represent about 25% of the total number of over-exploited, critical and semi-critical blocks in terms of groundwater in India.
- It also aims at bringing about behavioural change at the community level through awareness programs and capacity building for fostering sustainable groundwater management in the participating States
|What is the goal of Atal Bhujal Yojana?
The goal of Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal) is to demonstrate community-led sustainable groundwater management, which can be taken to scale.
Funding of the scheme
- Atal Bhujal Yojana(Atal Jal) is a Central Sector Scheme with an outlay of INR 6000 crore, out of which INR 3,000 crore will be a loan from the World Bank and INR 3,000 crore as a matching contribution from the Government of India (GoI).
- The funds under the scheme shall be provided to the states as grants-in-aid.
- The World Bank financing will be done under a new lending instrument, that is, Program for Results (PforR), wherein funds under the scheme will be disbursed from the World Bank to the GoI based on achievement of pre-agreed results.
Scope of Atal Bhujal Yojana
The scheme envisages addressing four critical issues relating to sustainable groundwater management, that is,
- State-specific institutional frameworks for sustainable groundwater management;
- Enhancement of groundwater recharge;
- Improvement of water use efficiency; and
- Strengthening of community-based institutions to foster groundwater management.
Some potential investment categories which will be excluded from Atal Bhujal Yojana are:
- Construction of major dams and new large-scale irrigation systems; and
- Industrial wastewater collection, treatment, and using it for recharging groundwater.
- In addition, activities that are likely to have significant adverse impacts on the environment that are sensitive, diverse, or unprecedented and/or affect people are not eligible for financing under the Program.
- Similarly, activities that involve procurement of works, goods, and services of high-value contracts will normally not be eligible for financing.
India’s Ground Water Problem
- A study reported that almost 80% of the domestic water supplies [both rural and urban] rely on groundwater.
- According to another report by the World Bank, India is held responsible for about 25% of the groundwater abstraction due to its increasing number of dark zones.
What are Groundwater Dark Zones?
- Areas where groundwater consumption is overexploited.
- Here the rate of annual consumption is more than the annual rate of recharge of groundwater.
- The government keeps a record of such dark zones in the states and the country.
Also read India’s Water Crisis – Every Drop Counts: RSTV – The Big Picture
Frequently Asked Questions on Atal Bhujal Yojana
Q 1. What is the objective of the Atal Bhujal Yojana?
Q 2. How many states have been covered under the Atal Bhujal Yojana?