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Objective of Ministry of Jal Shakti

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  • Last Updated : 03 Nov, 2022
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India is a vast country with natural resources. Water resources are one of their essential resources and the river system is the backbone of water resources. Most Indian cities are settled near the major rivers (Agra, Delhi, Mathura on the bank of river Yamuna and Kanpur Prayagraj on the bank of Ganga, Kolkata near Hugli, and the list goes on. ) So the management of these rivers and their water from the industrial pollutant is most important. The government takes many actions to remove administrative bottlenecks cabinet merges different departments and ministries to provide a single-window solution and administration control to resolve the water-related issue. The newly created ministry is called Jal Shakti Ministry. The first water minister is Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (MP from the jodhpur constituency in 2019).

Background of the Jal Shakti Ministry:

  • Jal shakti ministry is a newly created ministry in May 2019 under the government of India. The objective of this ministry is to tackle all water-related issues.
  • It is the merger of  Drinking Water and Sanitation & Ministries of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) has been transferred from the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change to Jal Shakti Ministry. So, it’s the newly created ministry merger of some ministries and departments under different ministries related to water management.
  • This ministry was mainly created for an ambitious government project (‘Nal Se Jal’ scheme under the Jal Jivan plan) to provide piped water connection to every household in India till 2024.
  • The main target assigned to ” JAL SHAKTI MINISTRY” is to resolve inter-state and international water disputes. Along with this “NAMAMI GANGA SCHEME” and cleaning of water of its tributaries to provide safe and hygienic water.

The Objective of the Jal Shakti Ministry:

  • Government is highly ambitious to provide basic facilities (home, tap water, toilet, education, health care ) to citizens of India till its 75th  year of independence ( Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav). Clean tap water is one of them so working consciously on that project government set up the Jal shakti ministry.
  • Namami gange program is the crown jewel of this ministry. Its full name is the national mission for clean Ganga, registered under the Society’s registration act,1860. It is implementing wing of the Namami gange project.

Namami Gange Program:

It is an Integrated Conservation Mission, begun as ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014 with a corpus of Rs.20,000 Crore to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation, and rejuvenation of the National River Ganga.

The main pillar of the Namami gange programme are:

  • Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure          
  • River-Front Development       
  • River-Surface Cleaning            
  • Industrial Effluent Monitoring
  • Bio-Diversity                                               
  • Afforestation                           
  • Public Awareness                    
  • Ganga gram       

Jal Shakti Abhiyan:

It is the grass root level program under which the ministry started a campaign called the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain”(JSA: CTR) to save water with the tagline of  “Catch the rain, where it falls when it falls”.
The duration of the campaign was from 29 March 2022 to 30 November 2022. In, the early stage of the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” campaign in 2021, a massive awareness drive was launched on 21st December 2020 in collaboration with the “Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan” (NYKS) involving Youth Clubs in 623 districts across the country.  

Other Initiatives Taken by the Ministry of Water:

  • Water mapping is also done by the ministry with the mapping and cataloging of all existing water bodies/water harvesting structures—wells and ponds included—using National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) data and GIS technology forms a key component of Jal Shakti Abhiyan.
  • Other initiatives are a long process like as Ken-Betwa River Linking programme it’s passing through the Panna tiger reserve. 

Recent Development:

  • The government created many water treatment plants to recycle wastewater from cities. They have a plan to set up water treatment facilities near every major river bank side city like Kanpur Varanasi, etc. 
  • Some other efforts like that are awareness campaigning among the people. Establishing toilet facilities near river ghat and creating separate bathing areas and many more.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Jal Shakti Ministry:

Q1. Who is the first water minister?
Ans. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is the first water minister. He is a member of parliament from Jodhpur (the blue city).

Q2. Where is the headquarter of the National Ganga Council? 
Ans. Kanpur is the headquarters of the national Ganga council. The prime minister chair this meeting in 2019.

Q3. What is the impact of this newly created ministry on the Indian economy?
Ans. It creates new jobs in pipe-making companies due to the government flagship scheme Har Ghar Nal Se Jal till 2024. So in recent times, we see the joy in pipe-making companies like astral, Ashirvad, etc.

Q4. Is it a good decision to create a new ministry for water-related issues? Is it not an extra burden on the government exchequer?
Ans. Union Budget 2022-23, the Jal Shakti Ministry was allocated a total of Rs 86,189 crore, higher than Rs 69,052 crore allocated in the previous fiscal year. The water ministry consumes a large number of funds in the budget but it is necessary because it provides multiple benefits in the prevention of water-borne disease, secure from affluent mixing in water bodies. 

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