What is the role of the Ministry of Jal Shakti?

If you have been following the news, you will be aware that the Union Jal Shakti Ministry will be conducting field surveys ahead of the monsoon season as part of the ‘Catch the Rain’ programme. But do you know what the role of the Ministry of Jal Shakti is and when it was set up? Come, let’s find out.

When was it formed?

The Ministry of Jal Shakti (water power) was established in May 2019 by the Indian Government to focus on the management and development of water resources in the country. The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation were merged to form the Ministry of Jal Shakti to address water-related issues. The Ministry was formed in the face of mounting water crisis witnessed by the country over the past few decades. Its main objective is to create an integrated approach to water management and provide clean drinking water to all citizens. It also encompasses issues such as inter-State water disputes, cleaning of the Ganga and its tributaries, interlinking of rivers and assessing the impact of climate change on water resources.

Major initiatives

Some of the major initiatives of the Jal Shakti Ministry are the Jal Jeevan Mission, Jal Shakti Abhiyan, Namami Gange Programme, and the National Aquifer Mapping Programme. The Jal Jeevan Mission, launched in August 2019, aims to provide adequate potable water through tap water connections to all rural households by 2024. Under implementation in partnership with the States, it focusses on promoting water conservation efficient use of water resources tensure sustainability of water supply systems, rainwater harvesting, renovation of water bodies, and use of recycled water. Through its Namami Gange Programme, the Ministry has taken steps to rejuvenate and conserve River Ganga and its tributaries. This includes setting up of sewage treatment infrastructure to reduce pollution, river front development. ban on disposal of waste, and promotion of eco-friendly methods of cremation of the dead. The National Aquifer Mapping Programme is aimed at developing plans for sustainable management of groundwater resources. The ‘Catch the Rain’ programme focusses on strengthening water sources in 150 water-stressed districts identified by the Jal Jeevan Mission. According to a statement, a central team will conduct two field visits to the identified districts before and after monsoon, first to assess the preparation for the campaign and then to assess its impact.

Besides these initiatives, the Ministry works with the States, UTS, and other stakeholders to implement water management programmes and conducts awareness campaigns to promote water conservation. All these efforts are expected to have a major impact on the country’s water governance and management in the future.

Picture Credit : Google 

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