Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday virtually launched the ‘catch the rain’ campaign programme and also congratulated the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for signing an MoU on the Ken-Betwa link project.
The launch was organised to mark World Water Day to raise awareness about water conservation. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said, “The more we encourage our ‘Nari Shakti’, the better will be our ‘Jan Bhagidari’ in conserving our water resources. I congratulate the government of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for the Ken-Betwa link project, it will change the water landscape of the nearby areas.”
“People from Rajasthan and Gujarat understand water related problems well as there is water scarcity. I am also from Gujarat and faced such problems too. And it is the reason that in the Union Water Ministry we have a minister from the region to tackle such issues,” the Prime Minister said.
He also said that there will be more women participation in Jal Jeevan Mission as no one understands the worth better than them. It will be the first time since Independence that a government has worked so seriously for water-testing. Over 4 lakh women have been trained for (rain) water testing, he said.
As per the Ministry, the Jal Shakti Abhiyan — ‘Catch the Rain’ will be taken up in all districts, rural as well as urban areas with the main theme “Catch the Rain, where it falls, when it falls”. The campaign will be implemented during the period from March 22to November 30 — the pre-monsoon and monsoon period in the country.
The campaign is being launched as a Jan Andolan to take water conservation at grassroots level through people’s participation to accelerate water conservation across the country.
In the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union Minister of Jal Shakti and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh signed the agreement to implement the Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP), the first project of the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers.
KBLP involves transfer of water from the Ken to the Betwa River through the construction of Daudhan Dam and a canal linking the two rivers, the Lower Orr Project, Kotha Barrage and Bina Complex Multipurpose Project. The project will provide an annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectares, drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people and also generate 103 MW of hydropower.
The Project will be of immense benefit to the water-starved region of Bundelkhand, spread across Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, specifically to the districts of Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen of Madhya Pradesh and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur of Uttar Pradesh.