Panel set up to revise water policy, to hold consultations

The Jal Shakti Abhiyan has created awareness among various stakeholders.

The government has constituted a drafting committee to revise the National Water Policy 2012 to address the fresh challenges that have emerged in the sector. The committee will hold wide consultations with all stakeholders including the state governments, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday. The committee was set up after the departments of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation and the ministry of Jal Shakti envisaged a revision in the policy in the changed circumstances, Rattan Lal Kataria, minister of state for Jal Shakti & social justice and empowerment, informed the lower house in a written reply.

A meeting of the state ministers holding the portfolios of water resources, water supply and sanitation was convened in New Delhi earlier this year to take stock of the measures taken by states to address the issues relating to water conservation, and the implementation of steps to address the water supply situation and water harvesting.

The Narendra Modi government has initiated Jal Shakti Abhiyan in 256 water-stressed districts of the country to encourage water conservation. The phase I of the campaign was rolled out between July 1 and September 30 across the country. The phase II was kicked off on October 1 and is expected to be completed by November 30. This phase was implemented in the southern states that get retreating monsoon.

Government officers, groundwater experts and scientists who are part of Jal Shakti Abhiyan work with state government officials to promote water conservation and water resource management. They focus on five target interventions – water conservation & rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional water bodies, recharge of bore wells, watershed development and afforestation. The Abhiyan has created awareness among various stakeholders such as government departments, agencies, NGOs, officials, panchayats and individuals.

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