New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched the ‘Atal Ground Water Scheme’ (Atal Water), which will benefit 8,350 villages in seven states. He also announced the naming of the tunnel connecting Leh and Manali as ‘Atal Tunnel’. Modi made this announcement at a ceremony organized on the occasion of the 95th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Water Power Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat were also present on the occasion.
Prime Minister Modi said, ‘Today the name of a big project that is very important for the country has been dedicated to Atal Ji. Rohtang Tunnel, connecting Himachal Pradesh with Ladakh and Jammu Kashmir, connecting Manali with Leh, will now be known as Atal Tunnel.
It is noteworthy that the historic decision to build a tunnel of strategic importance under the Kirohtang Pass was taken on June 3, 2000, when Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of the country.
This tunnel was announced during Vajpayee’s Government
A total of 8.8 kilometers, this tunnel is the longest tunnel in the world built at an altitude of 3000 meters. This will reduce the distance from Manali to Leh by 46 km by road. Road construction on both ends of the tunnel was completed on 15 October 2017. Construction of the tunnel is nearing completion soon.
Referring to the Atal Jal Yojana, the Prime Minister said, ‘The subject of water was very important for Atal ji, very close to his heart. Whether it is the Atal Jal Yojana or the guidelines related to the Jal Jeevan Mission, this is a big step in proving the resolve to deliver water to every household in the country by 2024. He said that the water crisis is worrisome for us as a family, as a citizen, as a country also it affects development.
Modi said, ‘New India has to prepare us to deal with every situation of water crisis. For this, we are working together on five levels. He said that the Ministry of Water Power pulled water out of this departmental initiative and stressed the overall thinking. He said, ‘In this monsoon, we have seen how extensive efforts have been made to conserve water from the society, from the Ministry of Water Power.
The Prime Minister said, ‘On the one hand there is the Water Life Mission, which will work to deliver water from pipes to every house, and on the other side is the Atal Jal Yojana, which will pay special attention to those areas where the groundwater level is very low.’
According to the Ministry of Water Power, the objective of the scheme is to improve groundwater management in 7 states – Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh through community participation in priority identified areas.
Implementation of this scheme is expected to benefit about 8,350 gram panchayats in 78 districts of these states. Atal Water will promote groundwater management and viable change under the leadership of Gram Panchayat with primary focus on demand side management. Of the total outlay of Rs 6000 crore on the Atal Ground Water Scheme, 50 percent will be in the form of World Bank loan and the remaining 50 percent will be in the form of central assistance from regular budgetary support.
The entire loan component and central assistance of the World Bank will be given to the states in the form of grants. Institutional strengthening and capacity building components for strengthening institutional management with the objective of sustainable ground water management in the states under the Atal Water Scheme, this includes network monitoring and capacity building improvement and strengthening water user associations.
Along with this, the emphasis is on promoting States for achievements in advanced groundwater management processes like data expansion, preparation of water safety schemes, implementing management efforts through coordination of existing schemes, adoption of demand side management processes. has given. This scheme will promote groundwater data storage, exchange, analysis and expansion with institutional strengthening for capacity building at various levels and improvement of groundwater monitoring network.