Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched Atal Bhujal Yojana in New Delhi. The Central Government scheme will promote Panchayat led ground water management and behavioural changes with primary focus on demand side management. Union Cabinet approved the 6,000 crore rupees scheme at a meeting yesterday. Urging farmers to switch over to crops that use less water, he exhorted people not to waste the precious natural resource in daily household needs.
He urged start-ups to come up with technology to ensure minimal use of water for various needs. Modi said only three crore out of 18 crore rural households today have clean, piped water. The plan, he said, is to provide the remaining 15 crore rural households with piped water in the next five years.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, the scheme will be implemented over a period of 5 years in identified areas in Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. He said, the scheme will boost the income of farmers.
PM Modi also named the strategic tunnel under Rohtang Pass after former the Prime Minister. The 8.8-kilometre-long tunnel is the world's longest tunnel above an altitude of 3,000 metres.
"It will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometres and save crores of rupees in transport costs. It is a 10.5-metre wide single tube bi-lane tunnel with a fireproof emergency egress tunnel built into the main tunnel itself," according to a release by the PIB.
The strategically important tunnel is nearing completion and once operational, it will provide all-weather connectivity to remote border areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh which otherwise remained cut off from the rest of the country for about six months during winters.