Atal Bhujal Yojana 2.0: Objective, Features, Components, Funding & Recent Developments under Atal Bhujal Yojana Scheme

The Government of India has created the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY) 2.0, which is a game-changing strategy for tackling the pressing problem of groundwater depletion by making use of environmentally sustainable management practices. ABHY 2.0 builds on the first phase, capitalizing on its achievements and learning experiences, with an eye on substantial increases in activity intensity within recognized priority zones in India so as to secure the continued availability of underground water sources. This broad program emphasizes the relevance of integrated water resources management, the participation of the community in it, and technical measures in order to achieve what it stands for.

 

Background of Atal Bhujal Yojana

 

In 2020, India commenced the Atal Bhujal Yojana to deal with the deteriorating groundwater challenge. With the aim of improved management of groundwater in water-scare areas, its objective is to promote community participation in water use decisions, recharge groundwater tables as well as save water.

Atal Bhujal Yojana is geared towards providing enough clean water resources for human consumption and agriculture services. The project is taking cognizance of involving village people, mostly farmers, in safeguarding water below the earth’s surface. This plan, according to the government, will help in water conservation thus ensuring sustainability.

Its aim is to enlist the community in water-stressed areas in the seven states of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, as well as Uttar Pradesh, to improve on-ground water management..

 

Overview of Atal Bhujal Yajana

 

Atal Bhujal Yojana Scheme – Overview
Scheme ABHY
Full-Form Atal Bhujal Yojana Scheme
Date of Launch 25th December 2019
Concern Ministry Ministry of Jal Shakti
Implementation Period 2020-21 to 2024-25
Components of the scheme
  • Institutional Strengthening & Capacity Building component (Rs. 1,400 crore)
  • Incentive Component (Rs. 4,600 crore) for incentivizing the States
Beneficiary States Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh
Scheme Objective The program’s goal is to increase groundwater resource exploitation while putting an emphasis on groundwater recharging, both of which require local-level participation.

 

Scheme Coverage of Atal Bhujal Yajana

The objective of the scheme is to improve the management of groundwater by engaging people at the local level in specific priority spots. Below are the areas in which this project is to be implemented with an estimated budget.

 

Sl. No. State Districts Blocks GPs
1 Gujarat 6 24 1,816
2 Haryana 13 36 1,895
3 Karnataka 14 41 1,199
4 Madhya Pradesh 5 9 678
5 Maharashtra 13 35 1,339
6 Rajasthan 17 22 876
7 Uttar Pradesh 10 26 550
TOTAL 78 193 8,353

 

Objectives of Atal Bhujal Yajana

  • Improve sewer control in prime regions nationwide through community involvement.
  • Encourage more efficient use of water by behavioral changes.
  • The list includes but it is not limited to Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.These states have over-exploited/critical/semi-critical groundwater blocks in about a quarter of them in India.
  • Alluvial and hard rock aquifers are among the various watercourses they utilize, each with different capabilities and exposures in managing groundwater.
  • Prompt-focused operation in the specific priority areas by creating a common approach to the current state programs.
  • The funding will be made available to recipient states, including those that are parties to the agreement, aimed at improving bodies responsible for controlling water pollution.
  • Foster community participation and accountability in sustainable initiatives for managing water resources.

 

Funding of Atal Bhujal Yajana

 

The Atal Bhujan Yajana (ABHY) program of the Indian government which, with a total budget of Rs. 6000 crores has been cleared by the World Bank. Rs. 3000 crores is the total sum that will be shared among the World Bank and Government of India (GoI) with each party contributing Rs. 3000 crores. The World Bank will offer Rs. 3000 crores as a loan through this scheme while an equal amount i.e., Rs. 3000 crores will be provided by the GoI. This money is to be given to states as grants-in-aid.

 

The World Bank’s financing will be carried through a fresh loan platform titled PforR(Program for Results). What this means is that the World Bank will give the funds according to the agreed performance of the Indian Government. Consequently, the Government of India (GoI) disburses this money into different states’ coffers to tie payment to specific project outcomes being achieved.

 

Features of Atal Bhujal Yajana Scheme

  • ATAL JAL is intended to empower local communities so they can look after their resources collectively hence avoiding depletion or pollution.
  • The project is estimated to benefit so many villages and panchayats in that area.
  • To enhance participation in community-level groundwater management.
  • ATAL JAL will focus on stressing demand-side approaches with regard to village councils taking charge of groundwater management.
  • Such expenses, as Rs. 6000 crores total over 5 years, will be financed in the following manner: A World Bank loan it with 50%, and then repaid by the Central government. Central assistance from regular budgetary support, which accounts for another 50% will cover the remaining 50% as grants offered to the states’ governments; both phases would enable this program to be executed successfully at the grassroots level.

 

Components of Atal Bhujal Yajana

 

Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building Component (1400 crores)

This section targets the strengthening of the institutions that are responsible for managing groundwater. What they will do is give instruction and teaching to the public officers who manage groundwater resources among others. With the lack of this, these training programs are meant to enhance their capacity to team up properly in order to harmonize for the protection of assets related to aquifers.

 

Incentive Component(4600 crores)

The motivation segment is targeted at motivating farmers and communities to safely utilize groundwater. It involves giving financial incentives to those who embrace good behavior, which will support different activities among them the employment of effective irrigation practices and construction of rainwater harvesting systems. They aim to promote water savings and protection rather than being reactive towards groundwater maintenance by providing these rewards.

 

Importance of the Atal Bhujal Yojana Scheme

  • The project aims to provide an uninterrupted underground water supply particularly to the farmers severely affected by acute scarcity in the past few years.
  • The project is focused on community participation and integration with the different water schemes.
  • Accountability and behavioral change within the society are given a more important status as far as managing groundwater resources in a better way is concerned.
  • The overall outlook on water resources and sustainable management are two areas that shall be improved through this project.

 

Recent Developments

  • In November 2023, progress of the scheme was subjected to review by the National Level Steering Committee.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the first two years of the scheme but since then significant progress has been made.
  • The five-year period of the scheme was extended by two years (2020-2025).
  • SKOCH Award 2023 in the Gold category honored Atal Bhujal Yojana for using a community approach to manage water sustainably.
  • In disseminating knowledge and encouraging interaction among interested parties, the “Atal Jal App” was introduced.

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