Atal Bhujal Yojana: States, Components, Funds & More

Named after the former prime minister and a great visionary Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY) is a visionary scheme of the Indian central government launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on the occasion of the 95th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 25th December 2019. Although this scheme was announced during the budget session of 2016-17 by then Finance Minister of India and for that time this scheme was known as the National Groundwater Management Improvement Scheme or NGMIS and this scheme was renamed as Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY). Under this scheme seven states of India according to some studies it was found that if not taken care of they may come under serious water depletion and scarcity problems.

Atal Bhujal Yojana
Atal Bhujal Yojana

We all know how important water is for us, over 70% of the human body is made of water and the concerning thing is that water is a non-renewable resource with absolutely no alternative. With all these alarming facts, many agencies across the country keep on doing studies like this and one of the studies revealed that there are 7 major states in the country which have the alarming threat of depleting groundwater and can come under serious threat of water scarcity in future. Looking at this fact when presented to the government of India they proposed National Groundwater Management Improvement Scheme or NGMIS scheme in their budget and this scheme was renamed as Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY). The speciality of this scheme can be felt as World Bank is also funding it in the year 2018 this scheme was officially adopted by them. This scheme was also implemented under the radar of the Ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga Rejuvenation in seven states of India.

Importance of this scheme, states involved under this scheme and the duration of Atal Bhujal Yojana

As we all know how important water is for us, this has been a major concern all over the world since we experienced a serious depletion of natural water resources, especially underground water. It is said that as the groundwater starts to deplete them comes a greater threat to the whole ecology and habitat of that area. Groundwater is the main reason for the waterfall in that area and the main reason to regulate the water cycle in that area. According to some time-to-time studies by independent bodies and government organisations India is under serious threat of groundwater depletion and they have identified 7 states in India which can take benefit from this scheme.

Groundwater is very much necessary for agriculture and its regulation makes the crop healthy, otherwise, the world can go into a greater threat to deal with. One of the points under this scheme says this scheme is also meant to make the farmers independent of the worry of irrigation channels. The seven major states covered under the Atal Bhujal Yojana are Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Under this nationwide scheme which will cover around 78 districts of those 7 states, 193 blocks of more than 8,300-gram panchayat, we can imagine how this scheme is dedicated to work on the nationwide scale and also on the gram panchayat grass root level. Now let’s talk about the duration of this scheme, it is valid for the upcoming 5 years since the launch which means it will run till the year 2025.

With this scheme, the government has taken many initiatives to seriously work on the direction to control the depleting water range in these states. Some of the initiatives like educating the farmers and others about groundwater preservation, encouraging people on how to take care of nature and insure there is no wastage of water all these tiny steps can help to the major goal to improve the groundwater level, other reforms that government has done on a very small level is to build infrastructure so that various things can be done to help the level of depleting underground water.

Influence of Atal Bhujal Scheme

Looking at the seriousness of the matter government has decided to take some serious steps to ensure that no further deterioration will occur, the seriousness of this finding of water depletion is alarming for many nationwide projects, and the Atal Bhujal Yojana demands urgent participation from other groundwater management in the country. The initial step was taken by the Chairman of Union Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari, and on 9th Feb 2018 there was a meeting held in New Delhi of the Consultative Committee of Ministry of Water Resources, Ganga Rejuvenation and River Development.

By far we all know the significance of this scheme, as to why the central government has to take very serious steps about the alarming water depletion in many parts of the country. We must know what made all this happen. Statics presented before the government that led to the foundation of this scheme, were

  • As mentioned earlier groundwater plays a very serious role in the regulation of water bodies, the water cycle is majorly dependent on the groundwater level, and it satisfies about 60% of irrigation needs. Now these are very serious numbers, for a country which is agriculture dependent these are very big numbers. About 80% and above the drinking water requirements of rural India are satisfied by underground water for urban people it is around 50% which means half of the urban people depend on underground water for drinking.
  • As per the data which was accumulated in a study that happened in 2013 about 4% of the country’s groundwater units are under serious depletion threat and more than 10% of units are in semi-critical state and all this happened due to our over-exploitation of the resources.
Atal Bhujal Yojana objectives
Atal Bhujal Yojana objectives

Major components of Atal Bhjal Yojana

The government of India has seriously worked on the alarming fact of groundwater depletion in different parts of the country. The reason I am saying this scheme is foolproof is that the amount of labour and dedication that was put into outlining the scheme was commendable. The whole scheme was divided into two components these two components are Incentive Component and the Capacity Building component, we will discuss them further,

The capacity building is dependent on going through the solid database which will be based on a comparative study and totally on a scientific approach. It was estimated that the total value of the Capacity Building and the institutional strengthening is around 14,000 crore INR. The main goal of capacity building is to enable community participation to strengthen institutional arrangements.

The incentive component of this scheme was kept at around 4,600 crore INR and this will be depending on the state participation and contribution under the scheme. This value will be provided as an incentive for better performance of the initiative.

Budget of Atal Bhujal Yojana

Under this scheme, 7 states were identified by the government of India and they can take benefit of this scheme which is kept for 6,000 crore INR.

As we all know that World Bank is adopted this scheme the total project cost will be supported by the central government and also by the World Bank. In the year 2018, World Bank approved to take the half expense of this initiative.

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