The NDA government that came to power in 2014 has initiated many people-centric welfare schemes for the betterment of the general public. The Amrit Sarovar Yojana is one of the key schemes of the Modi government, having far-reaching benefits.
Addressing the nation on his monthly Radio programme “Mann Ki Baat” on 28 August 2022, Indian PM Narendra Modi spoke on various issues such as combating malnutrition and increasing digital entrepreneurship and connectivity, etc.
PM Narendra Modi specifically mentioned ‘Amrit Sarovar Yojana’ and how pleased he was after the success of this scheme.
What is Amrit Sarovar Yojana?
The Amrit Sarovar Yojana was launched by PM Narendra Modi, this year in April under the aegis of ‘Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
The project was aimed at conserving water bodies throughout the nation and saving water for the future.
PM Narendra Modi while launching the scheme, had set a target for every district to create and rejuvenate 75 water bodies. The goal was to create 50,000 water bodies with each pond having an area of 1 acre.
The Response on Amrit Sarovar Yojana
PM Narendra Modi in his Mann ki Baat address lauded the efforts of various district administrations for ensuring the success of the Amrit Sarovar Yojana.
The PM gave the example of Warangal in Telangana, “On the initiative of the villagers, this place is now being developed under the Amrit Sarovar campaign. This time due to the monsoon rains, this lake has been filled up to the brim with water”, he added.
He talked about several successful Amrit Sarovar projects in various states such as Amrit Sarovar in Mocha Gram Panchayat, Madhya Pradesh. This Sarovar built near the Kanha national park has added beautify to the area.
He also applauded the commendable work in Karnataka and referred to the newly constructed reservoir in the village Bilkerur.
“In this area, people faced a big challenge to conserve the running water as it was tough to stop the water from flowing down the mountain. As result farmers and their crops also suffered losses,” the PM pointed out.
“The water body thus constructed under the Amrit Sarovar was a great reprieve as it also solved the problem of floods in the area,” said PM Narendra Modi.
Emphasising the importance of the scheme, PM Narendra Modi said, “The Amrit Sarovar Abhiyan not only addresses many of our problems today; it is equally necessary for our coming generations as it furthers the cause of water conservation.
He further added, “Under this campaign, at many places, old water bodies are also being rejuvenated. Amrit Sarovars are being used for quenching the thirst of animals as well as for farming.
The Need For Water Conservation
According to a news magazine, Downtoearth “a major water crisis is being faced by India, where 100 million people are on the frontlines of a nationwide water crisis and many major cities face an acute water shortage.”
The situation will be even worse in the days to come as 40% of the Indian population will not be able to access drinking water by 2040 as suggested by a Niti Aayog report.
Since its Independence, India has shown reluctance to effectively manage its waterbodies, which has led to the drying out of several ponds, lakes and rivers.
These water bodies are also important to replenish the groundwater level and control urban floods due to excessive rain.
According to the 4th Minor Irrigation (MI) census, carried out during 2006-2007, “there were a total of 5,23,816 water bodies – declining by 32,785 from 5,56,601 water bodies identified during the 3rd MI census of 2000-2001.”
A 2021 survey also showed that ponds, tanks and lakes in the Ganga basin, and the water bodies in UP, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Bihar have dried up.
According to it, “16% of the water bodies in the Ganga basin were eutrophic, and only 56 per cent were functional.
The scheme will not only rejuvenate groundwater levels and benefit the environment but also ensure enough irrigation water for farmers.
The Central government’s Amrit Sarovar Yojana has been a great step like many other flagship schemes such as Ujjwala Yojana, Digital India and Jan Dhan Yojana.