Rattan Lal Kataria, Minister of State for Jal Shakti, on Tuesday said that a 100-day campaign called ‘Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls’ will be launched next month across the country under Jal Shakti Abhiyan-2, the second phase of the phase of the campaign for water conservation which will include 734 districts, 7,195 blocks, 2.55 lakh panchayat, 6.64 lakh villages.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the program to be launched by the Jal Shakti Ministry to harvest rainwater recently in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ a radio programme.

Kataria said that the first phase of the campaign for water conservation ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan-1’, launched in 2019 in 256 water stressed districts with an aim of effectively managing the rainwater and to recharge the groundwater, witnessed an overwhelming response from the field formations.

Encouraged by the response, the Ministry has now planned Jal Shakti Abhiyan-2 across the country, he added.

The minister said, “The campaign shall witness mobilization of an unprecedented scale. Teams of central Govt officials shall visit each district to sensitize and motivate them to undertake water harvesting and conservation measures.”

Highlighting the water crisis in the country, he said, India is home to 18 per cent of global human population and 15 per cent of global livestock population but the country has only 2 per cent land mass and 4 per cent of global fresh water resources.

India receives (on an avg) 1,170 mm rainfall but only 10-20 per cent of that is presently utilized.

The MoS said, “The results of JSA -1 witnessed an overwhelming response from the field formations. The team of Central government officers including Joint Secretaries and technical experts created awareness amongst the field officials and encouraged them to create capacities for water harvesting and conservation. As a result, interventions were made in 1,01,04,338 water conservation & rain water harvesting projects, 75,36,381 renovation of traditional & other water bodies, 74,85,025 Reuse and recharge structures, 96,96,381 watershed development.”

JSA-1 witnessed huge public participation and a total of 1,19,85,64,862 tree saplings were planted during the campaign.

In the second phase of the campaign, 1.74 Lakh village-based youth clubs under Nehru Yuva Kendra shall be mobilized to spread awareness at grass root level to provide more traction to the Abhiyan.

For this, some financial assistance shall be provided at each district level, the Minister said.

The Ministry is also working on fostering convergence between various other ministries like Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Defence, Surface transport, Civil aviation etc to achieve focused results in this direction.

JSA-2 shall envisage geo tagging of all water bodies throughout the country. This shall form basis for assessment of the rejuvenation efforts for water bodies pan India, said Kataria.

–IANS

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