Presenting the Union Budget 2019-20 in the Parliament today, the Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman said that ensuring India’s water security and providing access to safe and adequate drinking water to all Indians is a priority of the Government. A major step in this direction has been the constitution of the Jal Shakti Mantralaya, integrating the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. This new ministry will look at the management of our water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner, and will work with states to ensure Har Ghar Jal (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024 under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
This mission, under the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, will focus on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level, including creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household waste-water for reuse in agriculture. The Jal Jeevan Mission will converge with other Central and state government schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.
The Finance Minister informed that government has identified 1592 blocks which are critical and over exploited, spread across 256 districts for the Jal Shakti Abhiyan. Besides, using funds available under various schemes, the government will also explore possibility of using additional funds available under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for this purpose.