World Water Day: PM Modi to launch Jal Shakti Abhiyan; agreement for 1st river interlinking project to be signed

The project involves the construction of the Daudhan Dam and a canal for linking the Ken and Betwa river for the transfer of water from the former to the latter.
During the virtual launch of the campaign, a Memorandum of Agreement will be signed.(File photo)
During the virtual launch of the campaign, a Memorandum of Agreement will be signed.(File photo)
Published on Mar 21, 2021 03:02 PM IST
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By | Edited by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

On the occasion of World Water Day on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the 'Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain' campaign via video conferencing.

During the virtual launch of the campaign, a Memorandum of Agreement will be signed between the Union ministry of Jal Shakti and the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for the first river-linking project of Ken-Betwa.

The agreement for the Ken-Betwa Link Project heralds the inception of the inter-state cooperation to implement former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's vision to carry water from areas with a surplus to drought-prone and water-scarce areas through interlinking rivers, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's office.

The project involves the construction of the Daudhan Dam and a canal for linking the Ken and Betwa river for the transfer of water from the former to the latter. The project also involves the Lower Orr Project, Kotha Barrage and the Bina Complex Multipurpose Project. As per the statement, the interlinking of rivers project will provide annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hactre, drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people and will also help in generating 103 MW of hydropower.

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The project is expected to benefit the water-deficit regions of Bundelkhand, districts of Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen of Madhya Pradesh and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur of Uttar Pradesh.

The 'Jal Shakti' campaign that will be launched as a Jan Andolan on Monday will be implemented till November 30, 2021. The campaign to save water will be launched across the country in rural and urban landscapes with the theme, “catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls”.

The essence of the campaign lies in spreading awareness and implementation of the rainwater harvesting system. The campaign which aims to reach the grassroots level through people's participation is intended to nudge all stakeholders to harvest rainwater by creating structures suitable to the climatic conditions and subsoil strata for proper storage of water.

Gram Sabhas are also scheduled to be held in all Gram Panchayats of every district except for the poll-bound states after the launch of the campaign to discuss issues pertaining to water conservation. During the meet, Gram Sabhas will also be taking ‘Jal Shapath’ or pledge to save water.

Addressing the high-level meeting around the implementation of water related sustainable development goals and targets of 2030, the Union Jal shakti minister on Friday has emphasised on building resilient systems to make water available to the most vulnerable. "We need to make water available to the most vulnerable. At the same time, we need to build resilient systems that provide long term solutions for sustainable use of water," he said.

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Friday, May 27, 2022