New Delhi, March 21 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign on World Water Day on Monday aimed to take water conservation at the grassroots level through people’s participation.
The campaign will be undertaken across the country, in both rural and urban areas, with the theme “catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls”. It will be implemented from March 22 to November 30 — the pre-monsoon and monsoon period in the country.
The Prime Minister will launch the campaign at 12.30 p.m. via video conferencing, said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The campaign will be launched as a ‘Jan Andolan’ (public movement) to take water conservation at the grassroots level through people’s participation. It is intended to nudge all stakeholders to create rainwater harvesting structures suitable to the climatic conditions and subsoil strata, to ensure proper storage of rainwater.
After the event, Gram Sabhas will be held in all the Gram Panchayats of each district (except in the poll-bound states) to discuss issues related to water and water conservation. Gram Sabhas will also take ‘Jal Shapath’ for water conservation.
In the presence of the Prime Minister, Union Minister of Jal Shakti and the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh will also sign Memorandum of Agreement to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project — the first project of the National Perspective Plan for interlinking of rivers.
The agreement heralds the beginning of interstate cooperation to implement the vision of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to carry water from areas that have surplus water to drought prone and water deficit areas, through the interlinking of rivers.
This project 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.
It will provide annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectare, 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, especially 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.
It will pave the way for more interlinking of river projects to ensure that scarcity of water does not become an inhibitor for development in the country.