On the occasion of United Nations' World Water Day, Prime Minister NarendraModi would launch the Jal Shakti Abhiyan 2021 with a theme to 'catch the rain: where it falls, when it falls' on March 22 which would continue till 30 November 2021.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here Friday said that the programme envisages rainwater harvesting during pre and active monsoon season through the convergence of various schemes and initiatives of various departments of the GoI and state governments.
Carrying forward the achievements of Jal Shakti Abhiyan 2019, the sequel programme would cover all urban and rural areas of the country including 729 districts, 7195 blocks, 2.55 lakh panchayats, and 6.64 lakh villages.
In this regard, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a high-level meeting with the union secretaries and chief secretaries of all states and union territories (UTs).
Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam along with Administrative Secretary, Jal Shakti Department participated in the meeting.
The cabinet secretary informed the states and UTs that under the programme, active participation of the people was to be sought for various activities like mapping of water resources, preparing water conservation plans through Gram Sabhas, cleaning traditional water bodies, removing encroachments and obstructions in water channels, and implementing appropriate interventions for water conservation.
The launch would be followed by special Gram Sabhas on water conservation and would kick start a host of activities based on large-scale community mobilisation throughout the monsoon season.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan would extensively focus on the de-centralised rainwater collection, storage, and utilisation to improve soil moisture and vegetation cover, raise groundwater table and mitigate floods particularly in low-lying areas, besides, raising awareness on the importance of freshwater availability, conservation of water resources and ill-effects of degraded and depleting water resources.
Later, in a separate meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, the concerned departments were asked to plan water-conservation related activities over the next 8 months and ensure people's participation under the programme.
"The focus of such activities is to be on the revival of wetlands, protection of flood banks, rejuvenation of small rivers, and rivulets and conservation of water resources," the Chief Secretary said.
The departments were directed to undertake timely initiatives to efficiently capture and utilise the rainwater through district-specific scientific water conservation plan, removal of encroachments around water bodies, de-silting of water channels, repairs of water harvesting structures, and maintenance of check dams and ponds among others.
To coordinate the activities of various departments during the course of the Abhiyan, the chief secretary directed both the divisional commissioners to establish Jal Shakti Kendras headed by the respective Deputy Commissioner in every district.
The Jal Shakti Department would remain the nodal agency for implementing the Jal Shakti Abhiyan in Jammu and Kashmir.
Administrative Secretaries of departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Forest, Ecology and Environment, Youth Sports and Services, Jal Shakti, and Higher Education besides Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu were present in the meeting.